Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Still Recovering

I haven't rewatched the Sopranos finale. I want to. I think about it a lot. But I haven't accessed HBO On Demand and actually watched it one more time.

It's over. Finito. Consigned to memory. They faded to black and in a way so did my enthusiasm. In retrospect it was probably the only possible way to end the show (and yes, I still think Tony got whacked) but I still feel vaguely cheated.

I'm not sure a novelist's career could survive a non-ending like that. At least not the careers of those of us who write popular fiction as opposed to literary fiction. You know the old saying: the first page sells the book, the last page sells the next book. That's why it can take me (literally) a week or two to nail the last page, the last paragraph. It's important. It's the point of the four or five hundred pages that came before. If you screw up the ending, that's all the reader will remember.

I'm watching Food Network while I type this so how about a food analogy. Chapter one is the appetizer. The middle chapters are the entree. The last page is a hot fudge sundae with nuts and whipped cream and a cherry on top. It's the memory of that hot fudge sundae that will keep you coming back for more.


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