Abstract painting is abstract. It confronts you. There was a reviewer a while back who wrote that my pictures didn’t have any beginning or any end. He didn’t mean it as a compliment, but it was. ”
If you’ve ever been confronted by a Jackson Pollock, you’re either intrigued or entranced. Pollock’s work is far from classical. He often traces lines over and over and over again. When he gets to the other end of the painting, he starts at the exact same spot on the opposite end.
Jackson Pollock’s work is infinite.
I’ve learned to be like Pollock when I write my fiction. I used to struggle with endings. Where do you finish? Do your characters die? Do they live happily ever after? The questions about ending seemed trite.
Jackson Pollock taught me that endings don’t matter.
It’s the consistency of your narrative that matters most both to audiences and to your characters. If you introduce one thing in the beginning of your story, follow through with it in the third act.
When you focus too much on the end, you lose track of the central narrative. You will create a story that’s absurdly linear and yet horribly messy.
Imagine creating a character. He’s a dentist at Grand Family Dentistry. He’s an eccentric and lovable dentist who solves mysteries in his spare time.
Of course, in a who-dun-it, the ending matters, right? Wrong. What matters is how the character changes through the events of the story.
You see, if you focused on how the dentist catches the killer and who the killer is, you build a formulaic plot. You paint a predictable pattern.
But if you focus on how the events of the investigation change the dentist, everything else should fall in place.
Jackson Pollock understood that the joy of creation is in the act and not the product. His method proved this.
Revel in the act of molding a character through their experiences and the ending will come in time.