You type out your chapter, filling it with all the plot-thickening events and unyielding characters, but then the end comes and you want to wrap the scene up tightly in a bow only to find the right words elude you. You must leave the reader satisfied while render them hopelessly hanging on for more. The ebb and flow of the chapter cascades effortlessly from your mind to your fingertips before landing on the page. What happened? Where is the pretty bow? Where is the dangling participle that pulls the reader in unable to put the manuscript down, unable to let go of the story they’re simmering in?
Such is life in and out of storytelling.
We as human beings all too often find ourselves closing out an important chapter in our lives unable to let it go and move onto the next without finding it a place, a finality, before moving on. Your wedding, the death of a loved one, the breakup of a relationship you were sure would go on forever… The post wedding bliss gets the hapless moniker “Honeymoon Stage”. The death of a loved one gets the engraved stone to which we go to whenever that chapter’s wrongful ending resurfaces. The memories of a breakup rear their head when a particular song plays on the radio or you find their old t-shirt in the back of your drawer. All of these have endings that are almost certainly never on our terms. That culmination of feelings, thoughts and memories write themselves and leave you the reader.
Could we write our own ending? To an extent, yes. The events in that chapter of your life transpired for a reason, aware to you or not. But the completion, the finale, of where that chapter took you and how you will begin the next rests in you. Life gives us the plot-thickening events and the unyielding characters, but it also gives you the tools to write the wrongs and scribe the rights.
The pretty bow, the dangling participle and the siren song synopsis that has us seizing the next chapter with both hands; those are all on you. When one chapter closes leaving you tired, distraught and numb, start the next standing in sunshine with the warm summer rays on your face and peace in your heart. If the chapter’s end finds you content, tranquil and hopeful, build on that to find the next progressive step to a story with your happy ending in mind.
Life is about stories and we all play our part in writing our own… And the role of supporting cast in others.