Books -- reading and writing.
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And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

When Enough is Enough

I have some gems in my files. Had I not spent the summer slowly clearing away the decidedly unnecessary piles of paper, I'd never have found them.

I'm copying this and pasting it in front of every writing spot I ever put myself in.

From THE WRITER, April 1989
(and no, I have not been writing that long but I have been a fan of Lois Lowry's forever)

Knowing when to stop is one of the toughest tasks a writer faces. 

Is there a rule that one can follow? Probably not. But there is, I think, a test against which the writer can measure his ending, his stopping place.

When something more is going to take place, but the characters have been so fully drawn, and the preceding events so carefully shaped that the reader, on reflection, knows what more will happen, and is satisfied by it, then the book ends.
Lois Lowry.  Pure genius.

An earlier post about ENDINGS, with examples from my favorite books:

And a few thoughts about my own manuscript's ending words:


Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks for this post, August. Will link to it on my writing wiki.

Augusta Scattergood said...

I must share this Facebook comment from my friend Eileen:
Reminds me of one of my favorite lines in FRIED GREEN TOMATOES... "Miss Ruth was a lady, and a lady always knows when to leave"

Love that thought on endings!

And thanks, Carol, for linking. Always appreciated.