‘Try, if possible, to finish in the concrete, with an action, a movement, to carry the reader forward. Never forget that a story begins long before you start it and ends long after you end it. Allow your reader to walk out from your last line and into her own imagination. Find some last-line grace. This is the true gift of writing. It is not yours anymore. It belongs in the elsewhere. It is the place you have created. Your last line is the first line for everybody else.’

– Colum McCann

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“What I’ve understood from my reading, and I’ve read a lot, is that there are only three possible endings, once you’ve got rid of the Hollywood falsity of a happy ending – and those three endings are revenge, tragedy and forgiveness. There is nothing else… revenge and tragedy usually go to together and it’s only forgiveness which allows the story to move on from that last page, from that finality into a new possibility.”

Jeanette Winterson

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‘But to look back from the stony plain along the road which led one to that place is not at all the same thing as walking on the road; the perspective to say the very least, changes only with the journey; only when the road has, all abruptly and treacherously, and with an absoluteness that permits no argument, turned or dropped or risen is one able to see all that one could not have seen from any other place.’

– James Baldwin, Go Tell It on the Mountain

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‘She knew that God tore down the old world every evening and built a new one by sun-up. It was wonderful to see it take form with the sun and emerge from the gray dust of its making. The familiar people and things had failed her so she hung over the gate and looked up the road towards way off. She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman.’

– Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

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