Saturday, December 5, 2009

"The True Deceiver", and something about endings

I just read "The True Deceiver" by Tove Jansson, which was recently re-published in the UK. I liked it a great deal, enough to read it all in one go after midnight. It made me feel grateful, because it dealt with things that bother me and that are hard to put in words - the way that people choose a way of making sense of the world, cutting off some things, pegging down others until they have something that works and seems completely true - and they may forget that there still is an outside place beyond that construct where they might hardly be able to function and survive.
It features two seemingly opposed characters, and I could easily identify with both of them. One of them is a bumbling picture book illustrator, the other a determined woman with a scary dog and a matching grin. I do recommend it, although don't complain if you find it sad. I found it very calming.

Work-wise, I'm presently having a shot at writing a big hollywood style ending. I think I might need to re-watch some movies for inspiration, because (as often) all I can think of is Ghostbusters. And, with some effort, Star Wars. A Big Intergalactic Celebration Covered In Marshmallow Fluff seems to be my ideal happy ending, can you blame me...

Actually, I've noticed before that endings are difficult. In most of the longer things I've written there's been a dramatic penultimate scene followed by general relief that mostly everyone is still alive, and a sense of exhaustion and maybe a nice cup of tea. With this one (the graphic novel script I'm working on) I already knew that I didn't quite have the energy to write a proper uplifting finale, and so I went to the cup of tea straight away, thinking: in a little while it'll all have settled in my mind and I'll be able to pick just the right bits of the story to tie up. Someone will realise they've overcome something and put it in just the right words, most likely.
So today I'm re-reading the script and taking notes of trouble... all the things that get sorted out in the end. I've already written the sorting-out part, all I need now is a scene that shows off the goodness.

I wish I could write in the pretty cafe, but it being Saturday there are no free tables. So I'm writing at home by the washing machine, because there's underfloor heating, I need to do the laundry anyway, and the washing machine sometimes walks off if unattended, so it's a quasi-symbiotic all-round acceptable situation.

1 comment:

Swati said...

My washing machine doesn't walk off, like yours but it does have a wobbling tendency among its various idiosyncrasies. I think they'd like to meet up.