Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Endings Hopefully Mean New Beginnings by Diana Flegal

In an effort to be a better person and honor God with what he has given me, I read a lot of self-help titles. If you look at my book shelves you will find twice the nonfiction as fiction titles. But then I own a lot of books.

At a friends recommendation I am reading, Necessary Endings, by Henry Cloud. Fortunately at the Beach at this time. :-)

In it, Henry mentions the economic turndown of 2008 when the auto industry got hit hard and made drastic cuts to their work force and quit producing cars that were not paying for their production. That same year  hit many businesses hard, and publishing was no exception.  One Christian publisher that once published 500 titles a year cut back to 250. Further still, publishers were hesitant to take on new authors because they represented a higher financial risk. Less slots and less opportunity. As a new agent with new clients, this was not good news.

Dr. Cloud also mentioned that many of these cuts had been long overdue. The economy provided the looksee the corporations needed to take.

In writing, sometimes there has to be necessary endings as well.

Authors I've read, kill off a favorite character in a series to their readers chargin because it was 'time'. Whole paragraphs and ancillary plot lines need to go. They take away from the main story and do nothing to 'move the story forward'.

Or a client decides they have to move on - their direction has changed, or the agent decides they have done everything they can for an author and would be holding them back if they kept them on their client list.

Necessary endings are hard for most, but hopefully lead to a company's better success or a better story.

What necessary endings have you faced lately in your writing journey?


Terri Tiffany said...

I'm there now...praying if I need to end some of my writing pursuits or not.

Audrey said...

Me too Tiffany!

Beth Brubaker said...

I realize that I have way too many interests and cannot scatter my writing to cover everything.
Focus is something that desperately needs to be learned, and in doing so, I have to cut out some of my writing endeavors.

I'm not cutting out these ideas, just putting them aside on the long-term back burner. These are the ones that will be cut if I don't have the time.

I can't be a chicken that gives milk, no matter how hard I try- so I'll work on the writing that will glorify my chickenhood, not dwell on the fact that I'm just not suited to give milk!

David B. Smith said...

The classic case has to be that of William Goldman, screenwriter for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” He had this favorite scene, a juicy tidbit that he HAD to squeeze in somewhere. It was just too good! The only problem was that it didn’t fit the overall story arc; it gummed up the flow. He tried shoehorning it to the back, then the front. No good. He endlessly rewrote it; he tweaked and massaged it. No matter what he tried, he could tell it was a pebble in the path; it was hurting the project. Finally, with his heart in his throat, he took the scene out and the Redford/Newman film went on to be a monster hit. He wryly observed: “Sometimes you must kill your darlings.” In “Tootsie,” Bill Murray finally groaned: “I’m going to write the necktie scene . . . without the necktie.” In my own case, I generally don’t surrender a pet dream until Lisa fixes me with a glare and tells me: “If you don’t lose that, you’ll be sorry!”