Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Why not a happy ending?

With author Mike McIntyre coming to speak with our Journalism class in the next few weeks, I read Journey For Justice: How Project Angel Cracked the Candace Derksen Case.

I started Monday, finished Tuesday afternoon. I’m not saying this to boast about my exceptionally fast reading skills (because that would be weird and to be honest, I’m not that fast). I read this book so fast because I wanted the story to be over. Just get through it.

The thing about reading this story is I knew that it wasn’t going to be happy ending. Candace Derksen died six years before I was born. Frozen forever in time as the smiling 13-year-old of the posters that plastered Winnipeg. I knew this. And yet, for reasons that had to do more with school than my own personal curiosity, I had to read it.

Let me say right now that normally I like knowing endings, if only to prepare myself for tragedy. But the tragedy here didn’t involve a character that I had become invested in—she was a actual person. Living in my city.

So I struggled. And ripped though those pages so fast I actually tore a couple.

The question I want to ask Mr. McIntyre (though I know I’ll probably ask someone else to do it for me) is how did you begin to write a story that you knew was going to end this way. Death. How do you write towards death? My only guess would be that he wanted to show all that happened after Candace’s disappearance and death.

But still, how would you decide that?

Can’t fathom it.

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