We all like a good ending. In books. In life. But what defines good to you? To me? I think the ending of the book is more important than the beginning. Granted the start of a book has to pull me in as a reader, but if the story doesn’t wrap up neatly, I call it a loss. I can think of a number of books and movies which left me wondering why I wasted hours of my time engrossed in them.
I currently ponder good endings because I approach the last chapter of my work in progress. It’s not your typical guy gets girl, or vise versa, ending. Much heartache emerged on the page. I cried for my main character while writing her story. I can’t end the book without hope, however, without her finding meaning. I don’t expect a Cinderella ending. In real life you don’t always get to be with the person you fall in love with. Maybe you never had a person to fall in love with. Perhaps sickness comes to call on you or your loved ones. Tragedy may strike and you lose your house, job, friends, children, or spouse.
For me a good ending requires completion. No loose ends should dangle like tails of yarn on a crocheted blanket waiting to be tucked into the weave of the pattern. Have the characters grown? Did they find what they sought? Have they come to some conclusions?
Of course I’d like my characters to be happy. Again what defines happiness? The fulfillment of our desires? Maybe. I propose it’s more than that. I see happiness and purpose cohabiting. How do you know what your purpose is? It’s a big question, which leads to another . . . What do you believe?
Are we here on this planet to live for ourselves? Are we here to carry out some duty or job? Are we here by divine appointment or by accident? If you are human, I guarantee you’ve asked or will ask the question, “Why am I here?” We all must struggle to answer that.
For me it comes down to this—I’m here because my parents chose to trust in God. I was supposed to be born “a vegetable,” at least according to my mother’s doctor, who advised my mother (for medical reasons) to have an abortion while pregnant with me. My life was threatened to be squelched before I’d even drawn a breath, my character written off before I even entered a scene. I began questionable and rocky, but good news! I’m not an eggplant reclining on a bed somewhere. I’m a functioning—with interruptions from MS at times—person with creativity, spirit, and a lot to give.
When I think of my purpose, I think of creating, of giving. I must create, or I will die. In my creating I hope to bless, inspire, and encourage others along the way. It’s why I blog. It’s why I work hard to publish and market my novels. I want to pass on the light and hope I’ve been given.
As I write this, I remember a wonderful lady who recently passed on. She touched so many lives by her kindness and helping hands. I don’t know how her story started, but I know how it ended—well. She watered a garden of souls by her generous spirit, and in turn, each of those have watered others.
I firmly believe it doesn’t really matter how you start life, but you’ll be remembered by how you end. It’s the good or not which defines us. I’m inspired now to finish my latest tale. I know what drives my character and what she believes her purpose is.
This verse from Ecclesiastes 7:1 states, “A good name is better than precious ointment, And the day of death than the day of one’s birth.”
Here’s to good endings.