Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for End

…in which we reach The End.

The end of a story.

The end of a revision.

The end of a journey.

The end is a scary place to be. Perhaps that’s why sailors pre-Columbus era were so afraid of the edge of the earth. Perhaps that’s why death seems to many like a terrifying event. We fear the end, even when we know that good lies beyond it.

Interestingly enough, in reading, we find the opposite. As readers we often race to reach the end, desperate to learn how the story plays out, desperate for closure to the story we’ve internalized. Putting even more pressure on the author to deliver. Putting more pressure on the end.
I’ve thought about this quite deeply the last few days. I’m reaching the end of a current WIP, and really struggling. I’ve been trying to put my finger on what is holding me back. I know where the story is going, so it isn’t writer’s block. I feel like I’ve got a good grasp on my characters, I’ve spent the whole story getting to know them.

And then I watched this scene from the Disney spin of Rapunzel, Tangled (2009), where Flynn and Rapunzel are out on the lake in a boat, waiting for the floating lanterns to light up the night sky.

A worried look crosses Rapunzel’s face, and she says, “I've been looking out of a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what I might feel like when those lights rise in the sky. What if it's not everything I dreamed it would be?”

Flynn replies, “It will be.”

But Rapunzel isn’t convinced. “And
what if it is? What do I do then?”

Flynn smiles softly and says, “Well, that's the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream.”
I know now what’s holding me back. I’m afraid of the end.

Fellow authors - do not fear the end, because there never really is one. There will always be more revisions for our stories, always more stories to tell. And regardless of one’s views of death, the stories we write live on, long after we are gone.

Once you’ve persevered, pushed yourself beyond the limit, and given that story your all, there is no more satisfying feeling than reaching the final page, and writing…

The End.


  1. aww, I love that movie and that quote. Great post Mandi!

    1. Thanks Betsy - I love it too. Probably one of my all time favorite Disney movies - especially the floating lantern scene.

  2. Good post, except that Columbus had nothing to do with proving the earth is round. That had been determined at least 1800 years earlier and sailors of his time as well as educated Europeans certainly knew it is spherical.


    1. I totally agree with you, about Columbus, but I never said he proved the earth was round.

      This is taken from wikipedia:
      The paradigm of a spherical Earth was developed in Greek astronomy, beginning with Pythagoras (6th century BC), although most Pre-Socratics retained the flat Earth model. Aristotle accepted the spherical shape of the Earth on empirical grounds around 330 BC, and knowledge of the spherical Earth gradually began to spread beyond the Hellenistic world from then on.[2][3][4][5] The misconception that educated Europeans at the time of Columbus believed in a flat Earth, and that his voyages refuted that belief, has been referred to as "The Myth of the Flat Earth".[6] In 1945, it was listed by the Historical Association (of Britain) as the second of 20 in a pamphlet on common errors in history.[7]



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