Writers always say endings are hard. Where to cut the story for best effect? To satisfy the reader but leave possibilities lingering?
Endings are indeed hard. Hard as hell, actually. My story is chock full of them.
But the hardest part isn’t the end. Not really. The hardest part of a story for a pantser* like me is the beginning. Which moment is the moment to bring you in? Where is the sweet spot that sweeps you into the story but provides enough context to keep you from being lost? What must you know to trust me, and what should I leave in the shadows so that you stay with me?
Beginnings are hard. So many things begun go nowhere. So many stories you think are starting fizzle out before the exposition can even get going.
So many stories end before you're ready. I suppose all good ones do, ultimately.
But I’m a romance novelist. I want to give you the happily ever after (HEA). I want to assure you that, no matter what angst I put you through, you’ll finish satisfied and happy.
You will. Or, more specifically, you can.
Because I believe in the HEA. Because happily ever after is what it’s all about in the end. It’s not the HEA of fiction. It’s the HEA of life. The happiness that comes with being unapologetically you. With loving yourself and knowing that you are enough—even if you’re a bit much.
In 2023, I’m going to tell you more of my story in the hopes that it inspires your own. The journeys I’ve been on are no more extraordinary than any other life lived with a heart open. The pains and triumphs I’ve experience aren’t more or less than yours or anyone else’s. They are mine.
But I hope my story helps you look at your story differently. And if I can inspire you to love yourself a little more, then I think I’ve done a good job.
So we’ll begin on a beach. Or maybe in a Yahoo chatroom. Or with a kiss emoji. Or a solitary walk home…
We’ll begin in 2023. And until then, I wish you peace and contentment. May any scars that 2022 left on your heart heal in this time.
*pantser: an author who does not outline their novel before writing.
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I actually believe outlining before beginning kills invention, unless you're the genius who has the whole novel in your head. "Not knowing," I love to say, is the key to the journey of both surprise and inevitability that Flannery O'Connor advises in _Mystery and Manners_. xo ~ Mary
Wonderful - I'm excited to keep reading! 😊