The art of ending, novels and paintings

I’m almost done with my novel but I’m stuck on how to end it. This appears to be a fairly common problem with writers in general but it is still frustrating. I’ve gone through my bookshelf looking at endings by authors I respect. A surprising number of them abruptly kill off a main character: Gatsby, Anna Karenina, Sarath in Anil’s Ghost (Ondaatje)- which I just read and was amazed by for the third time.

Death is the great ending and that’s not surprising. I unexpectedly gave one of my characters cancer so maybe there is a death coming. I’m just going to have to write my way through it.

I ran into my friend Belinda at Good Luck. She is a painter and I asked her when she knew a painting was done. I got two answers. The first was ‘when there’s nothing left to add’ and the second was ‘when you add something black’. Black. This was interesting but she was quite adamant about the fact that black is always the last color you add.

Does black represent death in a painting?

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