Last week, an editor’s corner on openings…this week, an editor’s corner on closings, I will be following this up with a new, regular blog post on Opening Lines and inviting you to send in yours. Great post, Shawn. I will study every one of them.
Things are a little hectic round about the Dragonsnest and at the Editor’s Corner. It’s October: Month of the Dragon starts today and, well, you can just imagine the flurry of activity. So I thought I would bookend last week’s ramble on openings with one this week on closings.
And there are great ones.
Some are meta statements, literary conceits that step out of the tale and remind the reader that they are just that, a reader:
And you say, ‘Just a moment, I’ve almost finished If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino.’ …Italo Calvino, If on a winter’s night a traveler
Some are the simple culmination of the tale’s action – aka they-all-lived-happily-(or not)-ever-after:
Shining fragments of aquarium glass fell like snow around him. And when the long-awaited white fingers of water tapped and lapped on Oscar’s lips, he welcomed…
When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down.
One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.”
Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!”
I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I?
I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.”
Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray.
With love from Dr. Niamh,
Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamhchildrensbooks.com