About a year ago I mulled my use of “The End” following final text in my stories and novels. I decided that that phrase limits the contextual residence of my writing; it implies that an isolated universe is created within each piece of prose and that that world is immutable, irrefutable and final. It isn’t. I realized this when the draft of my second novel, Christmas in Mecca, evolved into both a sequel and a prequel to my first novel. Nothing ends.
My stories and novels depict fragments of experience that occur within the moment, but that are also nested within a dynamic sea of future and past. A focused lens into the past can provide valuable, revelatory insights into and about the present; a retrospective gaze from the realized future can redefine and more precisely account the broader implications of that same present. In the infinite plate tectonics of the cosmos, nothing stands alone, absolute, stoic and stone.
I am no longer comfortable using “The End” when I finish novels and stories…but what then to use, if anything?
I thought of “etc.” Etcetera. A literal translation from Latin is “and the rest.” Common meanings include “and so forth” or “and other things.” I think this better captures my sense of my writing…and the rest…and so forth…and other things.
Hereon in, my stories and novels will not end with “The End.” They’ll end with “etc.”