Last week we had a Princess and Prince storytime for the school holidays. It was also a chance for the children (and myself) to dress up. It was wonderful to see little princes in home made cardboard shields and swords, fabric pinned for capes (not to mention the little boys dressed up as firemen and magicians...why not?) ....and the wonderful array of princesses. From Snow White to Cinderella, Ariel to Belle...and all those in between (mostly fairy princesses).

When you have nearly 60 children and 90% of them have gone to the effort of dressing up it is a wonderful sight.

I myself was a Handsome Prince (I was told I looked more like Puss in Boots but that's by the way) and it was an afternoon of lots of stories and songs - and the making of a crown and magical wand was a huge success. There is nothing like a child's face when you sprinkle glitter on something they have created.

Even though most of the little girls wanted pink crowns and pink wands (and I'm afraid there was no pink glitter) the majority of little boys didn't care. They were more than happy with the pink crepe paper, pink crowns and the pink and red cellophane ( I did have other colours on stand by) Just goes to show that it's the adults that are more for the 'pink is for girls, blue for boys'

As we read the stories-  about the princess and the pea - the little princess that preferred the dragon to the prince - the hairdresser to the fairtyale characters- the one thing the children all loved was saying at the end of each book....AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

At this age they want that belief that things will work out. That the prince will fight the dragon (and win). The princess will wear a beautiful gown and marry the prince (living happily ever after).

It's only as we grow up that the happy ever afters begin to leave us a bit tetchy.

I for one don't like endings where everything is tied up in a neat little bow. I don't think you need to hit your reader over the head with 'this is how it ends.' I like to have to ponder. Are they going to do this or perhaps that? I want to have enough knowledge of the characters that I can make my own opinion.

Some books do leave us wondering what on earth happened? Worse case is when you are left thinking 'did any of this story actually happen?' which was one novel I read. Multiple POV told the story, but all based on the assumption 'if this happened' and the ending left me with a huge question mark. So in this case, perhaps not a big bow to tie it up but at least give me the ends of a few ribbons so I could at least form my own bow.

I don't think there is any easy part to writing a story/novel/poem. The fun part is that first rush, that idea that seems just right. It's afterwards when you go back and edit, and redraft, and edit and then look at it as a whole. You see if there is a point to it, something is being said, then you question whether it has a good beginning- one that grabs the reader- then you question whether the middle isn't merely waffling on for the sake of it- and the ending.

That is the point where everything has to be drawn in. Where it all has to make sense.

Or does it?

Perhaps if I just added those infamous six words that would be enough? What do you think?


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