25 July 2010

creative process

I've been writing again. I go through periods, where the stories and the characters insist on being written, though I sit down at least once a week and try to do some writing, regardless of inspiration. I've been writing a lot more this last week. I feel like I'm moving out of my darker moods to somewhere else, and being in this in-between stage has made me want to write. I've been revising, filling in parts that I hadn't written yet in one story, and working on another I'd barely started just to explore the characters. That one isn't terribly good, but the characters just won't go away.

But the longing to write something solid hit me tonight. I was listening to some music and I realized, that, although in much of what I write, I make my characters unhappy on their journey, I do bring them to happy endings. But the endings I admire and find satisfying when I read are not by necessity happy ones. I love happy endings, I do, but when an author chooses the happy ending over the better one, I am disappointed. I was unaccountably annoyed with the end of the Harry Potter series, for example. When I watched Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog for the first time, I was stunned by the ending. It was the better ending, so, although I was sad that Penny died, I liked the story all the more for its tragic ending. I loved Sunshine because so much was left unresolved at the end.

There's a story I was playing around with a few months ago, and I had a beginning, an end, and a decent idea of the middle. But I really had several endings, and I didn't know which one to choose, and was dreadfully afraid that I wouldn't choose the best one. I thought of writing them all. I started on the happy ending. Looking it over tonight, I realized that the better ending is the less happy one. It makes more sense, for one thing. So now I have a beginning, and an end, and I have to fill in the middle. But it feels right. It feels better than it did when I started with the other ending. This is the story it wants to be.

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