Finding the Inspiration Part 2

In part 1 here, I wrote about how to find the way into a story. You’ve had an idea; you’ve found a character and you have them in a  situation where you want to find out what happens next. You have written them into a pickle, put them in jeopardy perhaps or created a dilemma for them.

Then what? Where do you go and how do you draw the story to a close.

Sometimes you know before you start how it will end; all you have to do is write the journey. In the example I gave I had Mrs Pickwick coming across her dead son’s old bike while walking her dog. She finds the new owner – a boy of her son’s age who is playing football. She follows him and befriends him. He turns out to be like her son.

I didn’t have a clue about the ending when I started. In fact I hadn’t thought about who the knew owner might be. You see the story soon became one about Mrs Pickwick and her coping with her grief, how her fractured life might be restored, just a little, by the discovery of the bike and its owner.

Personally I think we agonise about the ending. Most stories are about the characters journeys and mostly those journeys, those lives will continue so what we are after is the rounding out of the story, not some full stop. Both in life and in literature the best stories aren’t neatly tied up; you might resolve a problem but you don’t have to resolve them all. In Mrs Pickwick takes a chance all you have at the end if hope. Two characters who may form a bond; there’s a possibility. It’s not said – it’s up to the reader to decide on the actual outcome. And that’s fine.

The point I’d love everyone who is considering writing, or has started and not finished is don’t worry about where you’ll end up. Just go. After all, as Robert Louis Stevenson said, ‘It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive’.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in creative writing, short story, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Finding the Inspiration Part 2

  1. Ritu says:

    Perfect advice! Sometimes the best planned stories end up being the most boring… If you just allow your story to tell itself, to an extent, there is a wealth of inspiration out there that adds spice to the storyline daily!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I like the way you think. I too enjoy following the journey to see where a story will end. It’s always a pleasant surprise.
    Happy New Year to YOU! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sacha Black says:

    Good advice – I agree – fuck the ending just write the damn story!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Couldn’t agree anymore with what you say “Let the reader decide the ending’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Elissaveta says:

    Very true. A while ago I wrote a post that practically followed the same concept :”reading is about the journey, not the destination” and I really do try to stick to this while writing my WIP (in fact, my ending has changed at least 3 times… 😀 )

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charli Mills says:

    Good advice — just go! Sometimes the journey is ours as writers.


  7. Pingback: ReBlog – Finding the Inspiration Part 2 | Brickley Jules Writes

Comments are closed.