The Thinking Quill

Bonjour mes enfants,

It is I, the exquisitely lubricious Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV. Ivy to one’s chums and Moons to one’s deliciously outre Maman. I am, of course, the pen behind that seminal work of imagination and anal rectitude ‘Fatswhistle and Buchtooth’ and the unimaginably enormous and generous intellect behind this programme of tutorials on the art of putting one’s soul onto paper.

I know you are all in awe of the crystalline perfection of my prose, and the lyrical lusciousness of my verse, and I know deep in my artistic soul that I cannot ever hope to raise the standards of your poverty-stricken scribbling to anywhere near the opalescent splendour of my smallest mark on paper. But it is my sacred mission to teach you little minnows sufficient that you may become sharklettes in the murky ponds of your own miserable literary existences.

With which in mind we shall proceed.

Lesson 11. The Write conclusion

Or, as Mama might say, “Famous last words, Moons. Fucking famous last words.”

You will, of course, be racking your teeny weeny little minds for the reason why the last words in a work can have any importance at all. I shall elucidate, beginning in the world of the moving picture theatre, a podium not dissimilar to the efforts of the literary genius…

Some examples:

Should one pronounce the phrase:

‘It was beauty killed the beast’

all of you will prick up your little ears and a spark will kindle in the dullness of your crania. Upon some basic level, too elementary to be called thought, you will know that ‘King Kong’ is being evoked.


‘tomorrow is another day’

brings to the screen behind the dullness of your eyes the face of Scarlett O’Hara and the flavour of ‘Gone with the Wind’.

Do you begin to discern my meaning?

And so to literary conclusions.

One will admit to being less than a fan of Mister Dickens’ turgid Victorian drama but he did possess the ability to pen an ending that etches itself into the consciousness.

There is no need whatsoever to have read ‘A Tale of two Cities’ to know that it concludes thus:

‘…it is a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known’

Equally it is true to say that not one in a thousand of those who quote Tiny Tim’s valedictory speech at the end of ‘A Christmas Carol’ will have so much as opened the book. Notwithstanding this fact ‘God bless us. Every one.’ has become just as much a symbol of the festive season as brandy butter and Boxing Day divorce.

Boiled down to its very essence, today’s message is both excruciatingly simple and exquisitely obscure. If your last few words are as strong as Sampson, as sexy as Rod Stewart, and as breathtaking as a sussurating sunset, it matters not a jot what the rest of the endeavour is.

Oh yes, my hopeful scribblers. A memorable last line will enshrine your work in the canon of literary excellence…

Consider your options carefully and remember the final words of my own magnum opus as Fatswhistle lays his heart and his fortune at the feet of Buchtooth:

“Piss off Fats, I’m dying for a crap.”

Craft carefully mes estudas. Next week. The cover….

Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV

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