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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Getting the end right

If you're a writer (or if you've ever written), you can probably appreciate the opening scene from "Romancing the Stone" where the author cries as she composes the final lines of her book. One sure clue that you've got the end "right" is that emotional surge, usually resulting in a tear and a sniffle, that says you're finally there.
By contrast the stories with incomplete or poor resolutions leave you feeling unsatisfied, like you want to go back to the manuscript and read it again hoping it might turn out right the second time.
I don't want to give away the endings of my novels by citing samples here, but I will show the end of a scene that I particularly liked. This comes from the conclusion of Chapter 1 in AT THE RAINBOW'S END, second book in the Rainbow Rock series. Alexa was on her way to Burbank to interview for a position as a screenwriter when her car broke down. She missed her opportunity and has just learned it will be several weeks before the studio can interview her again. Kurt McAllister is speaking as this scene begins:

"I own a business and we could use some help around the place—simple things, like answering phones and such. Since you're going to be looking for a job anyway, why don't you just stick around here until it's time to head for Burbank? Mom will enjoy your company out at the farm and I can use your help around the shop. What do you think?"

"What kind of shop?" Alexa asked, still wary.

"Rainbow Productions. My sister-in-law and I make instructional videotapes and documentaries."

Alexa smiled. To Kurt, it looked like dawn rising over the desert. "Really? You make movies out of Holbrook, Arizona?"

"Well, yeah." Kurt decided to play his trump card. "You're in movies too, aren't you?" She nodded. "You're an actress?"

Alexa felt her breath catch in her throat, then let it out in a surprised giggle. "Me? Acting? I'm scared to death of cameras!"

"Then..." The unspoken question sat between his eyebrows.

"I'm a writer," she said, tipping up her chin. "With a little luck, by mid-June I'll be a screenwriter."

Kurt blessed the Fates as he smiled back at her. "Alexa," he announced, "we do have something to talk about."
AT THE RAINBOW'S END, together with the other Rainbow Rock books, is now an e-book, currently available for Kindle, Nook (, and every other type of e-reader or computer. Enjoy!


  1. Yes, that's a great ending but still leaves room for drawing the reader into the next chapter


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