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Thursday, 17 September 2015

Prettily Tied Up Endings…and Writing with Honesty

Dear Blogettes,

It's been a little while since I blogged. I always have my blog in the back of my mind, particularly if I haven't posted. My aim was to post once a week, on Thursday, but it seems there's always something more pressing, like writing my new manuscript, posting on social media and writing a synopsis for 'MEADOW'S END' before finishing the manuscript. This is a first for me.

Usually, I go where the story takes me. When writing A DISH OF STONES, I had a clear picture in my head, like a complete capsule of events unfolding just behind my eyes. I saw Kate and Emma, watched them as they struggled to live through circumstances that would make most of us crumble. I knew there must be some kind of happy ending for them. I wanted, maybe needed a happy ending for them. I also knew it wouldn't be a happy, happy ending, because I wanted the story to have an edge of realism. Nothing really ends happy's more a case of accepting that things don't always go to plan, to be grateful for the sliver of happiness we're offered, one that lifts our spirits and encourages us to continue. Surely, this is real life.

I'm addicted to television drama. The BBC in the UK do this very well, but there's one thing that frustrates me more than anything when I'm viewing. Some of the dramas are stretched out over two or three weeks, maybe longer, so clearly a chunk of time must be invested. My pet hate is when the writers gather up all the loose ends and tie them in a very pretty knot, so that A gets exactly what she wants, B learns to accept it, and C goes to prison because he's a very naughty boy. Sometimes, this is all pulled together very quickly in the last episode, and to be honest, it leaves me feeling very short-changed. This is not realism. Yes, I want escapism ( I write fantasy as well as contemporary fiction, and I love to let rip with the characters, real or imagined) but I hope I write with realism in mind when dealing with the problems we face as human beings. A series I watched recently, and one I absolutely fell in love with was a huge disappointment in the final episode, when everything just conveniently fell into place. It felt uncomfortably like the writer had been told there wasn't another series on offer, so hey, I'd better just wind it all up.

Writing about the problems human beings face in life must surely be approached with realism, otherwise we're not writing with honesty. 'In to each life a little rain must fall' is a truism. It is absolutely correct, and describes the human condition perfectly, providing us as writers with a rich vein to explore, which surely has no end.

Do you have a favourite drama that was written with honesty and would like to recommend, or like me have you been frustrated by prettily tied up endings? I'd love to know.

Valentina x

PS. Please let me know if you would like to hijack my blog, or take part in an interview to discuss your writing experiences. I would be honoured to lend my place in the blogisphere to you for a while!


Tanya Lynne Reimer said...

I rarely have time to watch tv, but when I do, that series better keep me hooked. I get frustrated rather quickly if I see where the plot is going or if it takes a spin that I consider is "cheating". You know what I mean, suddenly there is a new character that appears out of thin air for some reason that I'm supposed to believe is possible and this character either fixes things or adds tension. I enjoy The Walking Dead it is very original and touches on an aspect of human behaviour that always shocks me. Hopefully they keep it up.

Good luck with the newbie!!!!!! Yay!

Valentina Hepburn said...

I can't resist a drama, costume or contemporary. The Go-Between is being aired here at the moment and it's gearing up to be very good. Lady Chatterley's Lover last week, a bit cold, not very sexy. The version in 1993 with Sean Bean was far better. And when I watch any drama I hope to learn a little about storytelling. I haven't watched The Walking Dead so I'll check it out. Good luck with your newbie too.

The Blogettes