A Discussion on Writing And Easy Endings
I decided to take a small break from the Crossing Lines Questions series because I was reading and came to a discovery. I read more than I write probably, and I think most authors can agree with this. We are book lovers as much as those people out there that blog and review books. It’s part of our love. Any author who claims to not read is a liar because without reading how would we have gained a love for writing?
With that being said, I want to talk about something I see all the time in other books, and my own I’ll admit. And that is the simple endings. And not even endings but confrontations. (Where I too am guilty of it in Crossing Lines) Books make it so simple. An argument between characters occurs, but then time passes and apologies are said, and suddenly everything is rosy. What was said in the argument is forgotten. The love is unchanged. All is well again. Just like that. But the reality is, books have it wrong. That’s not real life. And maybe we as authors do it on purpose. Because as an author, we get to make up a fantasy world. It doesn’t matter that we don’t have unicorns running around because it’s a book set in New York City between some happy go lucky college kids...it’s still a fantasy. It’s not real life. I think this is both good and bad.
I understand the allure. It’s easy. As an author we have a lot we want to say. We have a story line we want to tell. And discussing the emotional trauma that hard things can inflict would take A LOT of time. We give a happy solution. It’s what the reader wants. No one wants to have their favorite couple break up. No one wants the best friend to die. No one wants the protagonist to be suffering from anxiety from that moment on.
At the same time, I hate this way of writing. That arguments are forgiven without a hitch. That words aren’t remembered for weeks to come; that they don’t keep us up at night replaying over and over in our heads. That some things can’t be fixed. In life, it’s not that way. As humans, we struggle to control our emotions. Often times, we simply can’t. We can’t control that what our friend said in the heat of an argument. Some things are never the same. We can’t help the fact that we can’t get over it. We can’t stop seeing someone in a new light. And that’s okay. That’s human. Unfortunately, that’s not always what is in books. Maybe that’s why I wanted to end my book the way I did. Maybe I wanted to have it be messy, not what people necessarily want. Maybe it’s what we need. I would like to show that life happens. We don’t control it, even if as authors we control the worlds we create. I understand many people hate the ending of Crossing lines, but I also hope they can see what that ending means. That life is ugly and unscripted and we can’t live always having perfect ideas in our heads of how it should be.