"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Thirteenth Tale; or Beginnings, Middles, and Ends

Since I have such a long commute, I started pulling out my audiobooks again. This way I can read while driving and get to some of the books I want to read, but don't have time to physically pick up the book and get through it.

I haven't had a chance to get to the library, and I don't have the ability to do the whole audible.com thing right now, so I perused my shelves for something to re-listen to. I started with The Secret Garden, which I haven't read in ages. I love these classic children's tales so much.

Finished that one in less than a week, so I grabbed The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield next.

This has become one of my all time favorite books. I've read it once and this is the second time I'll be listening to it. I also had the good fortune of winning a copy from Hannah during her creepy story competition. (Hannah isn't creepy. Much. And the competition wasn't creepy, the story we had to write was supposed to be creepy. Just to clarify)

(by the way this is my lame, I have too much to do, so I'll cop out and use quotes for my Writerly Monday post)

As I've been listening, there are a couple of quotes that I was dying to share with someone, but I couldn't, because I was driving, so I couldn't even TWEET them. This was agony, so I decided to do a post and share some of my favorites with you.

"When fear and cold make a statue of you in your bed,
don't expect hard-boned and fleshless truth to come running to your aid.
What you need are the plump comforts of a story.
The soothing, rocking safety of a lie."

Talk about truth. How many of us write or read for just this reason? One of my all time favorite quotes is from L. M. Montgomery's Emily Climbs (sidenote, if you are a female and a writer, you need to read these books. I adore them more than I can ever say. In fact, just read everything Montgomery ever wrote. You will be INSPIRED. But that's food for another post)

"I shall always end my stories happily.
I don't care whether it's 'true to life' or not.
It's true to life as it should be
and that's a better truth than the other."

Which brings me to another quote from The Thirteenth Tale.

"Of course all stories have beginnings, middles and endings;
it is having them in the right order that matters."

This quote stuck out at me, because I have recently been reading a number of "modern" novels for my grad classes. And I really don't care for them. Why? Because they don't begin at the beginning, follow through the middle, and stop at the end.  Call me a traditionalist or a romantic, but I want a story (99.9% of the time) that has a happy ending. I like some tragedies, I understand the effect, blah, blah, blah. But if I am reading a book, I want to escape from my reality. I have enough annoyance and pain in my own reality (though considerably less than many people, I know - I'm blessed) that I don't need to visit someone else's, suffer through everything with them, and then have a crummy, depressing ending. Maybe everything doesn't work out all happily-ever-after in real life.

All the more for it to happen that way in a story.

There are other quotes I wanted to share as well, but of course I can't find them now that I'm flipping through the book. But I think I've meandered on long enough anyways.

How about you? Do you like a realistic story? Or a happy ending? Or both? Any favorite writing quotes you want to share?


Tracy said...

ummm, sounds intriguing...something I'd enjoy; I think!
Now I have just one more book to add to my already long list of books to read.
...thanks for the suggestion!

Caroline said...

Whenever I write, I ask, "What would L.M. Montgomery think?"

Okay, maybe not every time, but surprisingly often. I remember Anne Shirley cringing over her early stories full of speeches and melodrama, and I remember Emily, too. I may have to revisit those.

And, yes, I started writing fiction when my brain got too loud at three in the morning. It had been a terrible few years, and escaping into my novel's world saved me.

Tessa Conte said...

oooh sounds like a cool book (also I love the cover)

*adds it to her to-read list*

Melissa said...

I have this book on my shelf and I am definitely moving it up on my TBR pile! I love the first quote!

Dangerous With a Pen said...

Omigosh, The Thirteenth Tale is one of my all-time favorite books too... and I loved it so much I gave it to a friend because she HAD to read it. And as far as I know, she said "meh" and it's sitting somewhere in a pile in her house collecting dust. I hoped I would get a new copy for Christmas but no dice. I put it back on my Amazon wishlist (which I don't actually share with anyone, just reminds me what books I want to get lol). Must get new copy!!!