I was rotting my brain last night watching STAR TREK – VOYAGER when I had a significant literary insight. I used to be a marginal NEXT GENERATION fan thanks to the Mom watching the original series many years ago, but UPN wasn’t on DirectTV until recently, so pretty much missed all of the VOYAGER series. No big loss.
Thanks to the wonder of TIVO, I completed the VOYAGER series a few months back and now I’m filling in some holes that I missed with the occasional episode.
BUT THIS ISN’T ABOUT MY STAR TREK GEEKERY, THIS IS ABOUT WRITING.
In last night’s episode, there were two significant hints at potential future relationships. This person flirted with that person, that person extended an olive branch to so’n'so, etc. I happen to know, as I’ve already watched the series finale that the development of these relationships is crucial to the final season as they help tie up loose ends, provide interesting plot twists, and, ultimately, give these fictional characters life after the series has completed. What is fascinating is seeing the introduction of these final relationships and knowing, three seasons in advance, that the writers have begun the ending.
The beginning of the end. (Note to self: I wrote a short story called that in junior high. How odd). For the writer, discovering that he/she has actually begun the ending is an intoxicating experience. It is the moment when the writer sees how they’re going to tie things up… often happens to me on the drive to work… sometimes happens in the shower, but it’s an epiphany of staggering proportion because of the satisfying sense of closure.
This does not mean that the hard work is done. I’ve been in the third paragraph of a ten page essay when I’ve discovered the ending which means I’ve got another nine pages of filler before I really get to set the hook and yank on my reader.
This also does not mean you’ve actually discovered the ending. Often the filler between page one and page nine directs you unexpectedly and suddenly you’re integrating an ending which makes no sense. The experience of retrofitting an ending, while valuable, can be emotionally draining because HEY DIDN’T I ALREADY HAVE MY EPIPHANY?