Monday, February 6, 2012

The Last Thread Standing

Happy Monday, everyone!

I will keep it short today. I've been fussing with my WIP, Cyberlama, and I realize that in the beginning I had several open story questions having to do with love, religion, scientific ethics, and environmental conservation.

Now, as I'm in the final scenes of the book, I find that I've answered most of these questions, leaving only the "love thread" left undone. As I'm wrapping that up, I guess I'm wondering if I've somehow reduced the entire book into a love story--which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but not was I was intending to do.

Do the last scenes of a book end up defining the "main" thread of the story? Does it somehow reduce the book to only have one thread left hanging in the end?


  1. No, I don't think so.

    I think just about all good stories have a love interest or romance of some type in them. If the love relationship is developed throughout the story, and isn't the main focus, then it probably would be the last loose end to tie up. That doesn't make it a "love story" however.

    As long as the flow feels right - that you've wrapped things up in the proper order - then it should leave the reader satisfied with the outcomes. All of them.


    1. I agree with you on that, Donna, that about most all good stories have a love interest or romance of some type, even if it's not a classic one or even between two people.

  2. Chekhov said that all you need for a story is a man, a woman and a reason for them to be unhappy. Which is, maybe, a love story. Anyway, the good stories all appear to be about relationships in one way or another, don't they?

    I think endings are just where the narrative stops. Most really great novels don't have memorable endings; they have amazing middles, really. Or amazing moments throughout. I don't think endings sum up novels, nor should they. Anyway, in my own novels I don't try to answer any questions at all; I just try to ask the right ones and let the reader chew on them a while. Answers are for science; questions are for art. I'm not even talking about the same thing you are, am I? My cold must be getting worse. Again. Yay!

  3. Thanks, Donna and Scott. Both of your comments are reassuring! I always struggle with endings, and I think I feel that pressure even more with novels since there is so much leading up to the end. Usually I blow it. But I have to stay cool. Stay cool.

  4. I don't thinks so either though I don't have anything eloquent to say like Donna and Scott.

  5. Not necessarily, it depends on when they're wrapped up, how and by who.

  6. Tara Maya says this:

    I think the last conflict you wrap up is the most important one; it has to be interesting enough to keep the reader reading. On the other hand, there are a lot of tying up loose ends that may take place after the main resolution. This may seem like a contradiction but it's not. The main character's ability to tie up the loose ends are not really conflicts but proof that he/she has changed (or not changed) and can now take care of things impossible before. For instance, many people think An Officer and a Gentleman is a love story, but it's not. It's about a rogue learning to be, well, an officer and a gentleman. It is this transformation that makes him worth of claiming the lady at the end. The famous scene where he goes into the factory and scoops up his girl is not really a resolution scene, but a proof scene. If that makes sense.

  7. Ah, that was what I was trying to say Tara :)


  8. Tara is brilliant. :) So is Scott. For me, the most important part of my stories is not the end. Usually it's near the end, but not the end, and oftentimes the middle is my favorite (although the hardest to write, which is probably why it's my favorite). Stories, for me, are little slices of a whole picture, so wrapping things up is simply providing threads that could possibly be cut again and start a new story if needed. Our lives are never "truly wrapped up", and since I like a lot of reality in my stories, I tend to avoid truly happy wrapped-up endings.

    Maybe that's what you're not talking about here, though...but I do think most stories are about love in some way or I don't think it's a bad thing that yours has that element in it.


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