a weblog for readers and writers

Location: Baltimore-DC Area

Author who writes for a living and lives for writing. // WOMB: a novel in utero (Merge Publishing 2017) // TRACKS: A Novel in Stories (Atticus Books 2011) // FLIGHTLESS GOOSE, a storybook for children (Writers Lair Books 2008) // www.EricDGoodman.com

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Alice McDermott's Happy Ending

“I’ve always wanted to write happy endings and my characters always deny them.” That’s what Alice McDermott said when talking to writers about the craft of novel writing a few years ago.

“Happy endings — any endings — can’t feel fake or made-up.” Astute readers just won’t buy it. A novelist must be true to the world created in a novel.

“Once you start that world spinning, you must exist within it. There is room for surprises, but they have to be believable surprises.”

Often, the writer is as surprised by an outcome of a story or novel as the reader. That comes from getting to the truth of the story instead of forcing a happy ending.

One of McDermott’s most popular novels, Charming Billy, has found its own happy ending by becoming the first of her novels to be adapted for the stage. (Or perhaps this is only the beginning!)

The world premiere of Charming Billy took place at Round House Theater this past weekend. It’s been held over and you can still get tickets for showings through February 27.

Visit the Round House Theater website for more information.

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