Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Every Ending is a Beginning


image (c) Jason George (http://www.petramoon.com/wadi_rum.htm)



The end of the year is upon us.  This causes us to look backward over the past year, or years, and look to the future.  Many of us analyze goals and set new ones.  While this marks the end of the year, it also marks the start of a new year and this cyclical nature of life, where every ending is at the same time a beginning isn't just about the turn of the year.  The same is true for the ending of a novel.  It might be the end as far as the reader is concerned, but for the characters, it is just the start of a new chapter in their lives.  Now their next steps down their life journey might not be as exciting or dramatic as what they have just encountered, but it is a beginning in its own right.  Of course, if you are interested in writing a series, like I am, you know that it's a beginning because you've got another book floating around in your head, but even if you don't have another novel in store for your cast of characters, they do have lives to lead and other adventure to pursue and once the series is done, unless your main charector has died, they have a lot more living left to do.  Besides, even if the main charector has died the other charectors have a life left to muddle through and readers need to sense this continuity and continuation of these characters in order to leave your story wanting more (which in turn will make them want to buy your next book or leave the novel floating around in their heads)

Now to pull that back to life--goals.  It's a bit easier for me this year as I'm working my way through my 101 goals in 1001 days.  I know that I need to reassess some of the work related goals and I always intended to cut my list of 105 down to 101 like it is suppose to be, but I'll probably wait to do that until Spring after I've thought a bit more about my career goals (aka if I want to try for an MBA or not).

The end of the year also marks my anniversary (three years today).  It's hard to believe that time has flown so fast!  Tonight we are going out to dinner, which should be fun.  We aren't exchanging presents as it is so close to Christmas.   I got lots of very nice things from my wonderful hubby and family.  Although I think my favorite Christmas Present was taking my nieces and nephew to the arcade and book store, which was their present, technically, but it was lots of fun for Pete and me too :)  They are such good little kids and very thankful and good listeners.  Such a joy to be with.

And back to writing :), Do you have any thoughts about the continuity of characters' life novels past the last page?  Any authors that you feel did it particularly well?

14 tidbits:

Charles Gramlich said...

John D. MacDonald always did that for me, I thought. Most of his characters, as long as they lived through the book, seemed to have lives that continued.

Natasha Fondren said...

Oh yes! There are some characters who still "live" with me. I still check in on them, sometimes daily! :-)

Lauren said...

@Charles- I love asking people about examples where authors have done something because I learn about new authors to read :)

@natasha- I know what you mean! And it's those characters that I love reading sequels about...and sequels or sequels...and...

Raph G. Neckmann said...

All the best for a wonderful New Year, Lauren, from all of us at Necky Knoll House! We'll be working on sticking our necks out for our dreams in 2010!

stu said...

Of course, it can go wrong sometimes, because it leaves the way open for people to wander in and write sequels once you're too dead to complain.

Barry said...

Diana Gabaldon is a master (or should that be mistress)of that, despite each of her books hovering around the thousand page mark the reader is always left with the sense of the character's live continuing.

I was delighted to read Charles comment. I haven't read John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series in a long time. I loved those books. I need to go down staires and see if I still have any copies hanging around. I can't think of a better way to start a new year.

Barrie said...

Ann-Marie McDonald: Fall On Your Knees. There are characters in the book that will still you forever.

Bernita said...

"other adventure to pursue"
Oh yes!
Either the characters or their world...thinking Witchworld here.

Robyn Campbell said...

I still think about my characters from Seventy Two Hours all the time. And even though it could never be a series, they live with me. I find myself thinking, "would Anna do this," OR "Claire looks like that girl." Stuff like that.

Good to have you back among us. How's the writing coming anyway? I did a trailer for my novel. That was a lot of fun. I start querying this month. I chickened out in October. Now I'm ready. Onward! :-)

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香覽 said...

Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you will not have a leg to stand on.............................................

生氣的時候 said...

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