Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The End is Near

Happy New Year! In my first post of 2018 I'm writing about endings. Crazy, I know, but what can I do? Endings are important to a writer, and not just to nail the book. It's also thrilling to come to that last scene, in the last chapter and say, Done.

Do we Judge Books by their Endings?

After 400 pages of story, you'd think readers would consider the whole experience, but no. They walk away from the book, TV series, play or movie, thinking of how it ended. They might be left pondering, cheering, crying or disappointed, but The End is what sticks.

For an author, a good ending means readers feel satisfied, even if profoundly sad or disturbed. They talk about the book, passing on its greatness by word of mouth. A bad ending is one where readers feel cheated, let down or worse, unmoved. They don't talk about the book or lend it to a friend. They throw it at the wall, eventually picking it up and putting it in the trash.

What Makes a Good Ending?

Feelings. Emotions. Whether comedic, tragic or fantastic, the ending needs to make readers feel deeply. It can come out of left field at the time, but there has to be, on reflection, a sense of logic, of possibility. Good authors will seed the ending in ways readers won't see it coming but later they find the rationale.

There are many types of endings and some of them are tethered to a genre. Romance novels, paranormal or otherwise, have an HEA (happy ever after). Trillers require an unsettling twist (Gone Girl). Fantasy may end with everyone receives a medal (Star Wars) or with the goal reached, but with varying degrees of fallout (LOTR).

YA Lit is changing but in the past 'happy and optimistic' endings were considered the norm. Yet, the most important ingredient in a good ending is its honesty. It may come as a shock, but it needs to ring true to the story. I remember being disturbed by the ending in The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I didn't like it, but it felt right. See below for changing perspectives in children's literature.

The fact that texts for children express hope, and therefore typically have happy endings, raises a question about their accuracy and honesty. - Perry Nodelman and Mavis Reimer‘s The Pleasures of Children’s Literature,

An Eclectic Group of Endings that Work for me

Some endings summerize; others shock. Some come full circle. Some hang us off a cliff until the next in the series; others leave us guessing. Here's a mix of some of my favorites.

"Then she bade the white horse take her through the door, leaving the snow to close in behind them and winter to obliterate any trace of her passing. - The Heir of Night, Helen Lowe

"Later on he will understand how some men so loved her, that they did dare much for her sake." - Dracula, Bram Stoker

"The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well." - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling

"He was soon borne away 
by the waves and lost in darkness and distance." - Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

"Are there any questions?" - The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood

"She looked down and for an instant it seemed she held a ragged teddy, torn and chewed with one button eye missing, but when she blinked she saw it was only Teg’s fingers laced in her own." - Journey by NightKim Falconer

"She opened the door wide and let him into her life again." - The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Stieg Larsson

She closes her eyes again and I begin to sing softly:
'''V'la l'bon vent, v'la l'joli vent
V'la l'bon vent, ma mie m'appelle.'''
Hoping that this time it will remain a lullaby. That this time the wind will not hear. That this time - please just this once - it will leave without us." - Chocolat, Joanne Harris

"And then we continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of our forever." - Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer

"When they finally did dare it, at first with stolen glances then candid ones, they had to smile. They were uncommonly proud. For the first time they had done something out of Love." - Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Patrick Süskind

"Hector turns and sees me and the world around us disappears. - The November Girl, Lydia Kang

How about you? I'd love to hear your most liked, or disliked, endings.


Kim Falconer's latest release comes out in 2018 The Bone Throwers, book one in the Amassia series, writing as A K Wilder. Find her new page on Facebook - AKWilder Author and on Twitter as AKWilder.

Her latest novel is out now - The Blood in the Beginning - and Ava Sykes Novel.

Learn more about Kim on Facebook and chat with her on Twitter. Check out her pen name, @a.k.wilder on Instagram, or visitAKWilder on FB and website.

Kim also runs GoodVibeAstrology.com where she teaches the law of attraction and astrology. 

Kim posts here at the Supernatural Underground on the 16th of every month, hosts Save the Day Writer's Community on FB and posts a daily astrology weather report on Facebook. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018: Year of the New

2018: Year of the New

I feel dusty. I feel like a dried up and crackled leaf on the wind that had been tossed this way and that for far too long. Like a doll that has been left on a shelf to watch everything happen through glass eyes. I feel like I've been holed up in my writer cave for too long and my back aches and fingers are curled and I need to shake the cobwebs off.

In thinking of Helen Lowe's last post of magic and possibilities, 2018 for me will be the year of the NEW. I feel like I haven't been writing enough or creating enough or saying enough with my work and that is just going to stop now.

Last year, I focused on the works of art, movies, the stories that I carry with me into the future. The works that have shaped the way that I write and process the world.

This year, I'd like to focus on possibly adding to that repertoire, changing my canon to help with this shake up. I just want to try something new: new books, new movies, new 5 am writing practices, journaling upside down while hanging by your toes. Like the Fool, I'm ready for an adventure!

So you, my dear readers will be along with me on my quest to become a new Writer, Creator, Human. And maybe through my foibles and follies, you can laugh along with me and add to your own treasure box of things that help you.

So for January 2018, I'm starting small. I'm going to read a book that has been recommended to me by several creative people that I admire.
BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert. Perhaps this supernatural girl is really just drawn to the title, but for the next month, I'm going to be reading about "balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism," according to Amazon. I'm not usually a self-help sort of person, so this is really new for me. 

If you'd like to hear my thoughts throughout the month, I'll probably be tweeting over at @Pantherista with my progress, thoughts on the book, and maybe even the verdict on how the change is coming along.  Look for #2018YearOfTheNew.

Oh, and if you have a practice or book or movie or anything that you think I should add to my journey, please let me know!!!

Thank you so much for being a part of this journey!

Amanda Arista
Author, Diaries of an Urban Panther series 

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Magic Of Possibility: Happy New Year, Supernatural Underground!

Happy New Year to all our Supernatural Underground community – the SU authors, our wonderful guests and to all our friends and followers that drop by throughout the year.

If New Year’s Eve is primarily about looking back on the “year-that-was” then New Year’s Day offers the possibility to consider the “year-that-will-be” – in this case, 2018.

And like all the festivals we celebrate throughout a year, New Year’s Day has a special kind of magic to it.

The magic of possibility...
To my mind, the most compelling element of New Year’s Day is the magic of possibility. 2018 stretches before us in much the same way as a blank page, one that may be written on in any number of different ways, whether for good or ill. Largely, too, the “what” and “how” of our response to life’s events rests with us, even if the events themselves may be outside of our control.
So the celebration of New Year allows us a press-pause moment to contemplate the “what’s” and “how’s” that may lie ahead – not just the form they may take but how we may choose to engage with them.
May your dreams take flight in 2018...
Today, on 1 January 2018, I would like to wish you all a year in which we not only contemplate many possibilities but feel able to seize the positive opportunities they offer, whether in creative endeavors, careers, or personal and family circumstances.

May we all be well – and also kind, compassionate and generous in all we say or do. And let’s rock 2018 with more great blogging, book reading, and most of all MOAR book writing.

Happy 2018!


Helen Lowe is a novelist, poet, interviewer and blogger whose first novel, Thornspell (Knopf), was published to critical praise in 2008. Her second, The Heir of Night (The Wall Of Night Series, Book One) won the Gemmell Morningstar Award 2012. The sequel, The Gathering Of The Lost, was shortlisted for the Gemmell Legend Award in 2013. Daughter Of Blood, (The Wall Of Night, Book Three) is her most recent book and she is currently working on the fourth and final novel in The Wall Of Night series. Helen posts regularly on her “…on Anything, Really” blog and is also on Twitter: @helenl0we