random threads

Sun Mar 21, 2004 11:16pm

Today I wrote the last page of my book. Or, to be more precise, the first page. Which is to say, only one page has been written yet – the final one. But it is an ending.

I’ve realised that endings are more important than beginnings. For one thing, they’re far more difficult to do well. And if you’re not sure you agree, just think whether you’d prefer to see a movie that begins well but ends terribly, or one that finishes powerfully after a poor start. See? As the song says, every story has an end – and good stories have great endings.

Beginnings without endings are merely a pile of random threads. Promising perhaps, wonderfully open-ended, but – like the intro sequence of a Bond film – signifying little. Endings, though, always have their beginnings nested within them, like the dying girl who begs her father for forgiveness. Endings are beginnings in disguise, awaiting discovery. Beginnings are nudists at a clothing sale; everything is revealed, but nothing taken away.

Work out the ending, and the beginning works out itself.

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