On being a writer...

A celebration of the writing process, of being a writer, of all the weird things that pass through a writing brain...

Friday, 29 October 2010

turning the page

To continue on the P and P theme - why am I compelled to go on reading, even when I know the ending by heart, and how the plot unfolds? This is a vital question for a novelist approaching the end of a rewrite, obviously. With Ms Austen, I think the answer is always the same - the reader's entanglement with her heroine's emotions is such that we would follow her to the ends of the earth. And we are not disappointed by the restraint of the ending, because of all that lies beneath.

Endings are very difficult; they've got to be right, for the book, they've got to satisfy, they mustn't cheat. They must somehow, I think, be there from the beginning, although at the same time they have to be earned by the process of the writing. And quite often, it seems to me, the writer gets to the end before the reader, who wants just a little longer with a character or plot, so that the release from the world of the book might nor jar or disappoint.


  1. I chuckled as I read your post about not cheating the reader and the writer getting to the end before the reader. I finished "The Crimson Rooms" this morning and felt just that. Cheated and wanting the book to continue. I thought you left too many plots still open.... Other then that I enjoyed the book very much.

  2. Oh dear, sorry you felt cheated. Wanting the book to continue is fine.... feeling that there were too many plots left open is not. I suppose I felt I'd reached the end of the Wheeler and Marchant stories, and that Evelyn had broken away from home. Of course, Nicholas Thorne is still exiled in Reading...
    Thanks for being in touch

  3. No problem, I am an avid reader and am looking forward to reading your other books. I am addicted to "series" books. Once I fall in love with a character I want them to live on and on.... Thanks again for the great read. SJM