marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

denouement delights

The hero and the villain collided at full speed, so that there is no possibility of their both coming through it, and the villain has indeed bought it.  And there's the cracked pieces all over the floor.

Time to sweep them up in the denouement.  The marrying' and the buryin', as Mark Twain put it.

The hero and the heroine marry, of course, and so do this supporting character and that one, and they have a kid, and the hero is installed in a position at the wizardly university. . . and the sage writer starts to look at with his head tilted to one side, going hmmm.  'cause once the hero and villain had collided full force, the conflict's over.  And while you can ride the dissipating tension for a while (and if you want to dismiss your readers "in calm of mind, all passion spent", it is wise to do so), you can't do it for long.  Readers are a lot less interested in all the tying of loose ends than the writer is.

It's not exactly an uncommon problem.  J.R.R. Tolkien actually wrote an epilogue to The Return of the King, featuring Samwise talking to his children about all that had happened over the years.  All that got stuffed into the appendices.  J. K. Rowling also did a much longer treatment, that got cut down to the current epilogue.  (I've heard that she may bring out the background info, including the complete post-Voldemort family tree, in another book.) 


At least I don't suffer from the temptation to tweak things in the denouement so that despite having a cataclysmic and final climax, and not having planted the seeds for sequels in the middle of the book, where they belong, I can still write a sequel.

At least, I haven't suffered that temptation yet.
Tags: conflict, endings, plotting, sequels, suspense

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