I'd just got done watching the latest trailer for the Disney adaptation of Aladdin online, when I clicked over to the IWSG question to compose my post for April. Lo and behold, it's about using magic to help with writing. And not just any magic, but the all-powerful "Wish."

As a caveat, I would probably want to use a wish on something else other than my own writing. Winning Lotto numbers for a $750 million jackpot seems like a good use of a wish. But that isn't the question. The question for April is this:
April 3 question: If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be? (examples: fight scene / first kiss scene / death scene / chase scene / first chapter / middle chapter / end chapter, etc.)
This is an easy question for me to answer. I'd use a wish to write the ending. Endings are always hard, and I find (quite often) that I tweak them over and over, always searching for something that will be satisfying. I was in awe (recently) when I read the ending to the Riyria Revelations, specifically the ending to the book Percepliquis, by Michael J. Sullivan. He'd subtly threaded throughout his entire story this myth of a god that was walking the earth trying to atone for a great misdeed he had committed upon his own daughter (a fellow goddess). Each time that he pleased her by doing something for a mortal, she would send him a single feather as a token of her approval.

Well we got introduced to a ton of characters in these books, but a minor one (in about book three) became a real joy. He was an old man that went to work in a royal household and his skills focused on heraldry, chivalry, and all the nuances of proper royal behavior. He quickly became a confidant of the new Empress, who knew none of these things, and became the head of the household, advising her on all the things she needed to know regarding banquets and guests and politics, etc. He was quite the delight (all the royal pageantry was essentially based on French royalty before the revolution). Anyway, his insights over the course of three or four books made possible the threading of a very convoluted and world-shaking plot that recharted the course of humanity for generations to come. At the end of the book, this minor character (the main characters were the bulk of the story) was offered a permanent position at court to which he politely declined. One of the main characters watched the old man walk away on a road on a sunny afternoon when he heard a thunderclap in the sky that made him jump. A single feather appeared and floated down to the old man and he caught it. Then he smiled at the main character and vanished.

And that was the end of the book. I thought to myself, "Wow! I never expected that, and the ending couldn't have been more perfect than that." I guess the author agreed, because he said in his notes at the end of the book (and has written on his blog) that he doesn't think he could ever write sequels to that story. So he's focusing on other stories that take place beforehand and with other characters.

So yeah, long story short: I would use my wish to write a perfect ending. That being said (and with a dearth of wishes to spare), it looks like I'll just have to settle with toiling over them until I feel they are ready to be released into the world.

Post a Comment

loading...
 
Top