Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Filler! Margaret Atwood and Endings!

This article by Margaret Atwood is amazing and useful and true. It makes me laugh because someone recently told me she objected to one of my books because the ending seemed tragic for its own sake. Discuss.

Also, yesterday Michelle's latest novel, MONARCH was finally officially published! Have you bought a copy yet? Why the hell not?


  1. Oh, that was a great article!

    I have no great insight. Save for my current W.I.P., all my novels have tragic endings.

  2. Thanks for the link, that was an interesting read and a valuable thought exercise.

    And I finished MONARCH on my Kindle last week, it made a long flight across the Atlantic enjoyable. Currently 10% into CUTTING FOR STONE and really liking it so far.

  3. That's a cool article, and also, in honor of Michelle and Monarch, I am eating a peanut butter and tomato sandwich, and really it's quite excellent!

  4. Like Chuck Palahniuk says, on a long enough timeline, everyone's survival rate drops to zero. I'm reading Chekhov lately and frequently his stories end sadly, or badly for the characters. What redeems these tales is that Chekhov treats his characters with gentleness and love. He doesn't wreck vengeance upon people who makes mistakes, but he doesn't hide their mistakes.

    There is of course room for stories that lift us up or are writ purely to entertain, but we should also make room for stories that tell unhappy truths.

  5. I have always intended to write something with a tragic ending but, soft hearted schmuck that I am, those intentions are now part of the pavement on that famous road. Maybe the next one.

  6. Chuck: I keep telling myself that I'll write something with a happy ending, but every happy ending I think of seems somehow unfulfilling.

    Domey: I like peanut butter. I like tomatoes. I like sandwiches.

    Rick: I really like the way Atwood shows a bunch of ways to tell the "boy meets girl" story. Even if you don't agree with her claims about the tragic nature of life and the validity of tragic endings, it's a good lesson in story development!

    S.M.: It's not a healthy market for tragedy right now, at least as far as I can see. But so what? No art ever grew by looking into the eyes of the public, as Ezra Pound said. Love your icon. I could use a pint right now!


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