Be happy of your ignorance. Be very happy.
I was just reading this post regarding certain things every writer knows. One is about knowing how the story ends. I’m so sure you think it’s so grand, what a privilege only the writer gets, but you have to believe me when I tell you it’s not the most charming gesture in the world.
As a reader, we often wonder whatever happened to our most favorite characters. After the last page of the book, isn’t it that we always find ourselves wondering how it went on, what the future became for certain characters we fell in love with. Like what kind of books did Julian Carax write after he reclaimed his spirit, or how did Harry’s career as an auror progressed, or maybe what was the rest of R’s name the time he finally remembered.
Now unless there is a follow up to the book or the author somehow manages to divulge these bits and pieces, you will never know the truth about these characters that you have claimed for your own. Maybe you feel about bad about this, I don’t know, but let me tell you, you must be happy of your ignorance. Be very happy.
Why? Let me begin by telling you the reason the future is hidden from you. Most times when you are faced with circumstances or decisions, you develop this mega urge to peek into the future, that maybe if you know what happens next you will be able to take care of your nerves and be a little bit happier, or maybe even pick better choices.
Take it from me though. If you knew what happens next, you won’t be able to take care of the nerves, you won’t be happier, and don’t even think of picking the better choices. It just doesn’t happen. I’ve been trying to write a story for sometime, the characters so deep into my soul that I am their God and I am exactly aware of how it ends for them. I know everything and I know their future. I wish I hadn’t.
Because futures go either way, you know? It can be good or bad. Stories don’t always have a happy ending and tragedies outnumber them significantly. When you are at that position where you know how it’s going to be like in the long run, no matter what good it is now, no matter how many struggles the characters pass now, when you have that complete knowledge it is all for nothing, it just doesn’t sit right in your stomach; in fact when you know how it really ends, even if you are only at the beginning or at the middle, it can be very hard to keep going, very hard indeed, because you know. You know how it ends and you know it isn’t pretty.
Maybe it is a gift, how we readers never get to see the real ending, the complete tale, the exact truth. Maybe it is the best that the story ends where it ends, where it makes the most sense, where there is room left for possibilities and nothing is final. In our minds, the characters can have great and full lives, the characters get to do whatever we wish they’d do, the characters experience life to the fullest. We can take them as far as we want them to go, create this future for them that is ours alone, one where the scene fades with sunshine and birds chirping in the background and everybody is happy.
Because really, I am so sure there are many authors out there saying, if you only knew what happens next you’ll totally want to punch me in the face. Because really, even the best stories don’t end happily in real life, not entirely exacting, and not at all reasonable, and it is hard if you know all these. It is hard if you know it all ends in blood and tears, particularly when you hoped and believed.
Maybe fictional endings are better, the ones that should be every bit publicized because reality blows, and knowing for certain it does and it will is even worse… so just be happy of your ignorance. Be very happy because not knowing is the only way for you to go on writing your story. Be fucking happy you are that lucky because you don’t have to deal with the real shit out there.
Photo taken from here.