Last night was the last class of my Creative Writing course. We focused on endings of short stories. We were presented with a print-out of a short story (The Landlady by Roald Dahl) with the ending missing and the task was to write the ending. I have never read it before but I set to work writing how I thought the story should end. We were given twenty minutes and by the end of that time, I had written a very bizarre ending. I thought I was way off the mark and that perhaps the tutor and my classmates would think I was insane. We each read out our versions. One other person had a similar ending to me. When the tutor revealed the ending, I was stunned to have been pretty spot on. I didn’t get it exactly right but the implied ending in Roald Dahl’s version was almost the same as what I had written. We are told when writing to “show not tell” and I guess I did more telling than showing but it wasn’t bad for something rushed out in twenty minutes. I have to admit, there was a certain satisfaction when I realised that I had been in a similar mindset to the wonderful Roald Dahl.
I am ashamed to admit that I was not aware of Roald Dahl’s short story writing. I always associated him with writing books for children – wonderfully weird books for children. However, I’m glad that I have some new stories to discover and I hope I can learn something from a legendary writer.