An ending, a resolution

Months in the writing and it now has an ending. Begun in August 2012, ‘Incident on the Line’ is finished, there is a resolution to the plot. Although there is redrafting aplenty to come, with many changes, major and minor adjustments, I know where it has to end, how it will finish. I always want to leave my readers with an ambivilance, possibilities for the future. Not the thought of a sequel but that lives will continue and we can imagine how they will go on.

I’ve just read two novels by Patrick Modiano, winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature. ‘Suspended Sentences’ which is in fact three long short stories, and the novel, ‘Honeymoon’; both utterly absorbing. His prose is mesmerising, his plots ambivalent. The reader is beside the character or characters, often walking the streets of Paris – the tourist board should consider him their greatest champion. There is melancholy, a future unresolved, the past and its effect on the protagonists central to their existence. The consequences of living in a Nazi occupied France, black marketeers, collaborators are what impacts on these stories. To disappear, to leave no trace of your existence is the right of any human being and for another person to search for those lost to them, is a strong theme, as if something will be resolved in finding out when and why they went. There is no judgement here, only a desire to collect and write down a truth.

Apart from the fascination with these people and their situation, the skill of creating a place so vividly that the mood of characters and their reality is established without any overt reference, is what I admire. Avoid such words as ‘felt’, ‘feeling’. It’s the mantra of all novelists, to show, not tell. To this I aspire.

 

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