The Ultimate Cliffhanger…

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If it won’t fit inside a box, stop trying to put it there. This entire time I’ve been reciting the incantation but also resisting it. I have stretched the book in all ways but the most obvious. If the characters aren’t joining up with one another naturally then they aren’t supposed to. If the story isn’t closing naturally then it isn’t supposed to. Maybe the characters’ adventures in the story are meant to be a little more epic than I had thought. Maybe their journeys are meant to be more complex. Maybe the City is grander, larger, and more complex than even I (yet) realize. 

—end the book in mid-sentence.

The characters do not have to meet at any particular time or place or at all. They are experiencing ephemera on their own in their own ways and combating according to their own understanding. With this somewhat pedestrian recognition (which was more about overcoming myself than reaching any epiphany) I feel a weight has been lifted. I have sat here for days…months…fighting to reconcile aspects of this book, fighting to bring it to a close which it does not want and is not ready for. Now I shall finally listen. Stop struggling against the art. What will be will be. 

Maybe to create art is to learn you hold little control there the way you have little control over life. Maybe that’s why one reflects the other. I learned this: HUMANS WANT THINGS TO RESOLVE. They will turn page after page in the fierce pursuit of resolution. Sometimes I perform different visual exercises. Myself at a book signing is a popular one or a book reading or a speech at an awards conference or in the office with my agent, editor, or publisher. I visualize my book with accolades. I do different things that focus my resolve. One of them is to imagine review blurbs. I sometimes concoct a review I would smile at from, say, the Observer or Christian Science Monitor. I imagined this: “He keeps all the answers for himself.” 

Maybe my book gets to be a great inside joke (more grave than anything) all for me. Some part of me likes that. Maybe it’s the idea of an unfindable zeitgeist—something that won’t ever quite be unspooled. Maybe part of it is just that I dislike the idea of giving it all away. I am finding that I dislike endings, that I dislike the predictability of having an ending and knowing the process is leading toward inevitable transparency for the reader, that I don’t want anyone telling me I have to give the reader resolution or answers or maybe I just know it will frustrate the reader into reading farther (or into quitting which is its own kind of culling). Perhaps I ail against the idea that the horror story must always reveal the monster.

Anything I write is usually such an adventure into myself that I can’t bear the idea of cutting the adventure short (even if it be by accident). 20XX. The City. What goes on there. I don’t have the answers. But I know the resolution is becoming grander and more distant, more and more like a mirage, and farther (much farther) down the road.


Roman Newell

Graphic Compositions:
by: Darlene Carroll

Graphic work can not be accomplished without the incredible resources made available to this Author and his team. THANK YOU to the following artists for the gift of their artistry and generosity in sharing their beautiful artwork, photography, and fonts.

Background Imagery:
o. Sarah Richter – Pixabay

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