Navigating early motherhood is hard. Doing it without your own mother—because she dies unexpectedly while you’re in the throes of it—is perhaps harder. In the wake of loss, middle-aged first-time mom Julie Patterson considers whether grief dramatically changed her children’s personalities, or if her children dramatically changed her grief.
First in a series of posts looking closely at the craft of writing about grief
Last month I facilitated a writing workshop about narrative point of view (NPOV), and afterwards it occurred to me that I have looked closely at the craft of many texts specifically about grief. I’ll even be so bold as to say I’ve read more grief than most writers. And perhaps because grief is such a universal experience—yet a topic many want to avoid—writers who tackle it have to really up their game to get their stories in print, in my humble opinion. Hence, a new regular feature for my blog was born. Let’s read like writers together, looking specifically at grief-themed texts to see how they’ve been assembled.
To me, endings are all about the take-away. What do you want readers to know, feel, do, think or wonder about after they finish reading your story? You can’t write an ending until you decide that.
When I first read stories with students and ask them to identify the climax, they tend to point to a small amount of text, often two sentences or less. This is one of a handful of common phenomena that still baffles me — where did so many of us get the idea that climaxes are small?
More accurately, the climax is often the most important part of the story, and, consequently, it gets the most space.
After my post about “Beginnings, Middles and Ends” a few weeks ago, a teacher-friend reached out to me. […]