Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Endings



Death is a breathtaking concept; a statement as figurative as it is literal. It's the fear in it. The finality. Therein lies the brunt of its beauty. Death is the only force mankind shall never prevail against. No matter what life lengthening drug or procedure man invents, accidents happen. As do murders.

Homicide, the grimmest yet most potent of muses, and the engine of countless plots. Passion or insanity, what else could make a man murder? To betray a rule so sacred? To take away the--

...I won't dip my toe in the dark waters, on second thought.

As a voice-giver for fictional murderers, I've found it's best to shy away from a mind contemplating the nature of immoral subjectively. Cold science can never lend an unbiased perspective to psychology, as to judge emotion you must cast your own bias--emotion-- to come from a place of empathy. Authors know this best. That's why our stories tend to end happily. The bond you form with a story's characters is but a microscopic fraction of a passionate writer's. While you spend a week or two with the story, we devote months, even years.

I now find myself facing such a conundrum.

How do you end that which has become so deeply ingrained into your existence and everyday process of thought? These characters, they're so much more than characters to me. Oh the humanity! The horror of ending the horror. Pushing a plot out of the nest, hoping everything you put into it will allow it to soar as high as your visions projected. Rewriting. Rewriting. Cuts. Edits. Do-overs. Why can't it ever be enough? Why is goodbye so hard? The endeavor feels like an endless escapade, but I know that's just the artist in me. My dreams are the painting, my love the paint, but ultimately this is for sale. A product. A part of my life is a product, one that needs to sell.

Ending a book is like ending a chapter to your own life. No one understands the importance of ending a chapter powerfully as an author does, I'd say. As such, we are critical of our own lives and the conduct that comprises its content. Once you set your mind to a creative perspective, you see life in stories, potential material and irrelevant errors to edit out. It's torturous yet magnificent, though ultimately unfathomable to the normal people around us. The more at one with the written word I become, the more alienated I find myself with society.

When this ends, I find myself parting with an amazing set of friends and enemies. Fortunately, I know this particular cast is one I shall revisit often, but that is rarely the case. Though melancholic that we must part, I relish my momentary triumph over the dreaded blank page. A finished book is a bittersweet victory in an endless campaign. One that comes after a bloody string of unsatisfying losses and defeats. Perhaps it is the deluded English blood pumping through my veins, but I find that marvelous. The life of the writer is a dark struggle, but as the ends of our chapters come... we manage smile. Writing is its own reward. Truly it is. The end of a book is a sad reward. It's like attending a graduation party for a friend you love deeply, but you know is going away for a long time.


So you write again. Starting a new beginning. Renewing a need for an ending you never wanted yet pined for the entire time.


- B
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