what is your ellipsis..?

Dictionary.com defines ellipsis as “omission of parts of a word or sentence” or “a sequence of three dots (…) indicating an omission in text.”

As a writer those three dots guide the reader to a point in the story that let’s them finish the sentence. “What if I…” I like to use those powerful three little black spots for even more, to leave the reader hanging or to let a long, silent pause linger to simmer the moment before moving on. They build anticipation. At times they leave the thought open ended to give the reader a prompt to formulate their own thoughts on that particular, gather their own conclusions based on the details up until that point and finish it on their own. As a HUGE fan of dramatic moments, when I write I am the first to confess that I overuse  utilize the ellipsis as a powerful tool – right up there with the exclamation point or the pedestrian question mark. Seen in print and digitally almost everywhere not all know that those three dots are an ellipsis. To some, it ranks up there with the “aglet” as a word they just don’t need to know.

So where am I going with this?

Our lives are filled with ellipses, not just in our magazines, books, computer screens, but in our lives, often in the form of “if only I had…”. The road not taken isn’t just a poem by Robert Frost. It is something we as human beings carry around in us until we take our last breath on this Earth and let go in every sense of the word. The all encompassing word “life” does not dictate which path we take. It merely presents the options to which we must choose. Sometimes we turn away. Sometimes we take that road less traveled. Most of the time human nature coded somewhere in our Neanderthal DNA tells us to take the easiest route possible; the one most everyone else is taking. Every now and then the dreamers of this world and the old souls with the iron spirit take that path few have gone before.

What is my point in all this, my advice to which path you should choose? I must profess my ignorance as to what emotions run around inside your heart, what thoughts permeate your mind in the dead of night or life’s events led you to where you are now. I can’t even say “if it were me”, because I too often take the road so many others have taken before me. If I could advise others from a throne of pompous arrogance I would say this: blaze your own path, make a new trail, dream a dream no one else has dreamed before…

See what I did there with the ellipsis? 🙂

In the end, do you want your story to be completed only the way you would write it or do you what three black dots filling the void of what might have been? You decide. Whatever you choose, make it fantastic.

By the way, the aglet is the closed off end of your shoe lace that keeps the end from being frayed and coming apart.

Kind of like an ellipsis…



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