I don’t think there’s anything more gratifying than seeing thoughtful discussion over something you wrote. Today on Twitter there was a lovely dialogue about the ending of “Marigolds,” coming out of this blog post here:
which pretty much made my day. Seriously. I’ve been grinning all evening.
I’ve had a few other people speak to me about the ending of “Marigolds,” with both positive and negative responses. And of course I have my own ideas about it, but I generally believe that authorial intent doesn’t amount to a hill of beans—the work is the work, period.
However, I will say that I am always intrigued by endings, and by readers’ reactions to endings. What do we need for an ending to ring true? In the workshops I’ve attended they often talked about a story “earning” its ending—what does that mean, and what demands does it place upon the characters and plot to make that happen?
It is for me a genuine, ongoing question.
There are times when I feel like I can reason through these things quite clearly, separate issues of craft from expectations and tropes and all that we’ve seen and read before; and there are times when I think craft and expectation are the same thing, and what I’ve been taught to think of as “story” is merely an amalgamation of so many patterns, frames piled upon frames.
And it’s late now, and I have many more half-formed thoughts along these lines . . . but the flesh is weak and has to get up in the morning. So perhaps I will simply say that, if “Marigolds” provokes this depth of response? It has more than fulfilled my hopes. I am, again, gratified. And still grinning. 🙂