Thursday, May 14, 2020

The Last Battle

Beginnings are tentative, difficult, subtle. Few parts of your work face as much revision, as much rewriting, than beginnings. 

Endings, on the other side, roar in and seem to compose themselves, inevitable, like the cresting of a wave.

This is how endings should be. Lay the ground, set the pieces in motion, the end game will play out itself. 

As I've grown older, as a reader I've found it harder and harder just to finish a book I like, not through dislike of the task, but because the pleasure of reading, discovery, is something I want to sustain. 

As a writer, the agony of ending a piece is the constant stream of distractions that break the whole into fragments of work, and the awareness that the measured end-game also requires its own patience, its own pacing. But of course, the ending is never the end of the writing task, only the point where you go back to review and revise again.

When Bilbo gets to the end of The Hobbit, he has his share of the treasure. All he has to do is get it back across the Mirkwood, the Misty Mountains, and the wilds of Eriador again. 

What have other found at the end?

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