In a recent Globe and Mail article, Paula Hawkins (of The Girl on the Train fame) is interviewed on the occasion of her new novel Into the Water. I was intrigued by what Hawkins had to say about the beginning and ending of a novel.
What’s more important: The beginning of a book or the end?
The beginning, I would say, because without it you do not know what sort of ending is possible, without the beginning, no sort of ending is possible. I understand that from a reader’s perspective, a satisfying conclusion is critical to one’s enjoyment of a book, but from an author’s point of view, the beginning of a novel is at once hopeful and dangerous. The beginning of a book holds within it a world of possibility, a whole network of potential paths and tracks to follow. Choose the wrong one, and you may find yourself writing entirely the wrong book.
Hmm. Since I am right now considering this question, Paula Hawkins’s words have got me thinking.
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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union in August 2016. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.