By Keith Fisher
I’ve been thinking of all the endings we suffer everyday. We love to open a bottle of soda but we hate to hear the last slurp from a straw. The excitement at the beginning of the Christmas Season turns to sadness when we must put the decorations away.
There is the end of an era, the end of a movie, the end of childhood, the end of school, and the end of a restless night. There are thousands of ends, both good and bad that must be endured, or savored. One of the most bittersweet endings we all face, is the end of a life. Its the time we all dread, when we must say goodbye. Whether we are the ones leaving or the ones staying, goodbye is not something that comes easy to us.
We learn from scriptures and teachings at church, life goes on. The doctrines of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints teach that life not only goes on, but also, there is so much more to it. We can be with our loved ones again and enjoy the same relationships we had in this life. And there will be increase.
So why do we mourn? A while back, a friend of mine ended his own life. I didn’t know he was so tortured. I learned some of the extent of it later, but I’m sure no one knows it all. I wasn’t that close to him but I counted him as a cherished friend. So, I regret all the things everyone regrets when something like that happens.
The key, I think, to all of this is what we remember. Normally, I don’t attend funerals or weddings unless the person has meant a lot to me. Several years ago, I attended the funeral of a man who, by one comment taught me a very important principle in my work ethic. I’m sure he never knew, but it has affected my whole life. So, I celebrated his life and rejoiced at the end of it.
I know you’re wondering what all this has to do with the subject of writing. Well, there is the point that every book has an end and we, as writers, must make it sweet. Readers need to come to the end and savor the life that is your book. If we do it right, The reader will mourn because it ended, but they will think of the story and the characters and find solace in them.
Take the time to develop your characters. Make them the kind of person that has a flaw but they are working on it. Make them larger than life, but let them be human too. If you love them, others will too.
Live the story in your mind and in your dreams. Work out the flaws, make it perfect, then when the end comes, make it sweet. Even if someone must die, make it bittersweet. The readers will love you for it. They can reflect on the story and the characters. Remember how you felt when Dumbledore died, and the vindication you felt when you found out he would’ve died anyway and Snape did as he was told. All of these things give us closure and help us savor the end.
"And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure."
Good luck in your writing---see you next week.