I've already covered endings in my June 8 blog, but I feel it's more important to go into more detail about it. So, here goes.
My art show starts tomorrow night (Wednesday, September 20). "Patterns Within Patterns" is a showing of my black and white artwork, presenting the possibilities of unity between black and white. But it's not just black and white on which I'm focusing. I have other pieces I'm not taking that show other colors getting along. Specifically, my stipplings.
I do three color stipplings. I've had one on my art page since this site went up:
When I conceived this idea, I thought it was brilliant. I made this by first drawing all the gods on the sheet of paper shown. I then drew the Tree on a separate sheet. Once I had them both, I put the main sheet on top of the Tree on a light table and used both drawings as a guide. Unfortunately, I didn't fully understand color, yet, and created too much contrast. Much of what I did on the right side with the Tree was lost except for the sepheroth.
I knew exactly how I wanted the piece to turn out, and I got it there. I only had two problems. First, I had only six days to finish it, so I didn't have the time I needed to test the coloring. Second, my measurements for the Tree were off, so the paths connecting to the top three seperoth (the important ones in Qabalah) were greatly elongated.
I love the piece so much I'll be remaking it someday. I've even thought about making a life-size paper maché of it.
The important thing is that I knew what I wanted to see before I made that first tracing line I knew where I wanted to end up. Much of my art is that way, but that's how I do all of my writing.
It's a pain for me to go into a discussion group for writers and inevitably see a topic such as, "My true love story has turned into trashy porn! HELP!" I always ask the same question, and I usually get the same answer.
I ask, "What's your ending?"
The answer? It always comes down to, "I don't have an ending."
The ending is the most important part of any creative effort. This is what your readers actually see. They never see the previous drafts, unless it's in a classroom text. So, they assume that what you see is what you intended.
If you intend it, let them see it! That means you have to stay on track. To stay on track, you must know where your story is going, a specific destination. And that destination is the final scene.
Walters Rule of Writing: Never write one word until you know your ending.
Let me dispel some myths about endings:
What is true is that Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone With the Wind backward, starting with the last chapter and ending with the first. This is the next best technique, but not having a beginning is just as bad for some writers.
There are three purposes to knowing your ending:
Great writers have said they knew their ending beforehand. J. Michael Straczynski had the ending to Babylon 5 long before it went into production. Robert Jordan hasn't finished his Wheel of Time series yet, but he's said several times that he knows exactly how it ends. So don't start writing without an ending.
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