Endings and beginnings

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.



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