Bitch on the Blog

December 16, 2012

The End

Filed under: Books — bitchontheblog @ 07:25
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sweethearts, I know some of you write blogs with hope in your hearts that a publisher will instruct his editors to ignore the slush pile and pounce on your talent.  Without delay.

Do not give up that hope. It happens.

However, and let me tell you this in my capacity as a reader: If you can’t write THE END  leaving the reader either saturated or bereft, wanting more, then don’t even start your first sentence.

The last two nights I had a fantastic read. Guess what: As so often the closer I came to the end the weaker the plot. It just fizzled out like a bottle of champagne: Flat in the morning.  After the last page I felt like flinging the book into a corner. Since I don’t throw things I didn’t. What I did do was lovingly scan some of my bookshelves, cosseting old friends. Those whose talent is not just devising a fantastic plot but bringing it to a satisfying climax. More, more, more …

U

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6 Comments »

  1. The beginning sells the book, but the ending sells the author!

    Comment by Piscis — December 16, 2012 @ 07:47 | Reply

  2. How very true. I love reading but it is hard for me to get books here. The few that are available (there’s one stand at the airpoort) cost not less than US$100 which is a stiff price to pay for a paperpack by someone you’ve never heard of. Crap endings drive me to distraction; I feel as if I have been robbed of the time and effort taken to slog through the book. Almost as bad are those stories in which the author wanders around aimlessly and, halfway through, the reader is still wondering when something, anything will happen to liven an otherwise soporific tome up.

    As I said, books are hard for me to come by so I gratefully accept any I can get my hands on and take pot luck. I am currently slogging my way through the appropriately named Dead Sleep by Greg Iles. I think a good book can be judged by the speed and dedication with which it is read. Using time as a measure of quality, I would describe this book as ‘glacial’. If I wasn’t in such polite company, I would describe it as ‘utter crap’ which I shall keep handy in case I ever run out of toilet paper.

    The best books are the ones that once finished, leave the reader bereft. A sense of, ‘Oh No! It’s over! What the hell am I going to do with the rest of my life?’

    Possibly not to everyone’s taste but Len Deighton, for me, is a master of that art. It is a skill rewarded commercially. He wrote the Bernard Samson trilogy, each consisting of three books. Having bought one, I just had to buy the other eight. Another measure of a good yarn, as Ursula has intimated (caressing her old favourites. I wish I were an old favourite) is if the book provides as much pleasure being reread for the second or third time.

    Comment by tomgowans Gowans — December 16, 2012 @ 08:22 | Reply

  3. Well, here’s hoping that you’re sold on me after you finish reading my book…

    Comment by Lorna's Voice — December 18, 2012 @ 18:36 | Reply

  4. Yes – you’re right – we are – I am – I’m the guy in your first sentence. Though when it comes to promotion on the blog, I get distracted by other conversations and funny wee things.
    Good point about endings. I like endings to have two things. Firstly – something striking and definite. Not to fizzle out like song which fades out. End on a big chord.
    Secondly – some uncertainty. It’s the end… but is it? Good to leave a glimmer of possibility of escape, rebirth or salvation. Not least because then there could be a sequel – once the first book becomes a blockbuster.
    Hasn’t yet – but only a matter of time, huh?

    Comment by blackwatertown — January 13, 2013 @ 11:33 | Reply

    • Paul, blog content (unless you are a relentless crusader on a mission to be published) should let the person behind the words shine through. I think yours does. I come across blogs that are so calculated in their self promotion all I can do is either write a sharp reply or (better advised) just throw my keyboard out of the window.

      There is one particular example and I will not give that person any publicity. She was shameless. Shameless. Exploiting not only her ex-husband and his new wife both on whom she heaped scorn upon but her (oh so beloved) young children too. You want bitch? She was the real thing. My god. Naturally, when I tentatively suggested that maybe she should tone it down a bit – if only in the interest of her children (after all that ex-husband of hers is their father) my comment was not published. Yes, ban the critic. That’s the way to go about it. I believe she is under contract now. Guess what? Her blog has since died.

      Anyway, where were we before my disdain for that woman got the better of me? I don’t know what your English literature lessons were like. I so remember when we studied ‘the open ending’, usually of the genre ‘short story’. Even at age 17 I thought (not in so many words): “Fuck you.” It’s an author’s cop out because – see my initial assertion – the end is so bloody difficult to carry off. Yes, so that was air out of my tyre.

      You are right: “Uncertainty” does leave room for a sequel. As all of us who watched Dallas in the Eighties know. You think someone was shot. Dead. Don’t bank on it. They might resurrect.

      What amuses me and leaves me cold, in equal measures, that some authors now take it upon themselves to write sequels to the likes of Austen and Bronte, long dead. Sure, and I couldn’t agree more, it’s usually after the credits roll at “THE END” when the story really begins. What’s the point? Let an author’s work stand. Don’t hijack it and hitch your wagon to someone else’s locomotive. Sorry, Paul, you have unleashed some of my pet miffs. Will shut up now. THE END. Mind you, I am sure there will be a sequel.

      Other than that I shall promote your “THE OBITUARIST” shamelessly. In a separate post.

      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 13, 2013 @ 20:58 | Reply

      • Hee hee – like the Dallas reference. It ain’t over till… well, who knows? Never, maybe.

        But still on endings – I pitched something the other day (and so far no news is good news… in fact, let’s not even talk about it, makes me feel queasy) and in that pitch – in the excerpt – included the endings. To prove there was one and that it didn’t peter out. Hope it worked.

        Re your true bitch blogger. I’m surprised your comment wasn’t published. She missed a trick there. Could have played the whole victimisation thing and got loads of mileage and material from it.

        As for the open ending English literature studying part. Hmm… I did it at school, but I don’t remember that bit. Or much about genre. Some good stories though. I fear you’ve just exposed a gap in my formal education. A bit like when a Swiss started talking about gerunds in the English language – and I thought: What’s a gerund? (Then again, Swiss people can be very annoyingly polylingual. So they similarly outdo French and Italians at their own languages too.)

        Hijacking? Jane Eyre v Zombies is a concept I can live with – though have not yet read. Otherwise I agree with you on that one.

        THE END

        Oh, liked the bit after The End in your reply above. Thanks. Look forward to that.

        Comment by blackwatertown — January 13, 2013 @ 22:28 | Reply


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