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Endings

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earthshoes



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 213
Location: SW Missouri
Endings  Reply with quote  

Hi folks

My book is at 88,000+ and the end is in sight (I can see it). The trouble is, it's has been in sight for about two (three?) months. I'm more comfortable with going back, editing, adding in scenes, taking them out and so on. I write most days, but there's really no forward progress (or no more than minimal). I can't quite make myself write the last 5000--10,000 words and I really have no idea why. Sometimes I'm sure all I've done is created a convoluted snarl of interesting, but useless words and phrases. Other times, it's multi-faceted with lots of interesting threads running through it. Either way, I'm anxious to be done with at least this first draft.

I ran into this with my first project a couple of years ago as well and I've talked with a couple of other writers who've been through the same phase. As we generally finish them--especially once we've come this far---whatever the problem is, it isn't fatal, but it's frustrating.

I'm pleased with the fact that this book has only taken me about a year, considering I'm also homeschooling kids and working part-time (40 hours is part-time right?) . It's the result of a lot late nights and early mornings and weekends of chipping away at it. I'd have been done sooner if I'd settled down and applied myself earlier on. I've definitely developed better habits over the last year, in thanks to CM's advice last fall (Anybody can call themselves a writer . . . ) and the ongoing encouragement from a couple of friends (Especially John). But it's time to wrap this particular project up.

I could use some suggestions about how to get past this if you guys have them.

mary
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Post Fri Nov 11, 2005 6:44 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Regina



Joined: 02 Mar 2005
Posts: 952
Location: Northeast U.S
 Reply with quote  

If you are worried about the time issue or have set yourself a deadline- you might not like this advice but- when that happens to me I usually take a break from it and work on another project for a while. By the time I am ready to go back to it, I find that it feels fresh and exciting again, and the writing tends to have more energy ... The reason to work on another project (maybe a short or some poems) is to keep your head in the writing game without hitting burnout... Which was a hard trick for me to learn! Anyway- good luck! Maybe someone else has some other advice?

Post Fri Nov 11, 2005 7:32 am   View user's profile Send private message
knikkki



Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 3145
Location: Davis, CA
Just Do It?  Reply with quote  

I had to make a deal with myself that I couldn't go back and edit until I finished. The re-working NEVER ends, so if you keep on that path that's all you'll ever do. Just go to word 88,001 and write ... You can do it ...

Writing the climax is so much fun ... Your heart races and it's exciting. But you have to wrap it up. One part of my ending made me really sad and I sat there and cried while I typed, but it's all part of the process.

And incidentally, my novel has three endings ... so if you can't decide, use more than one!

Good Luck

(I just finished writing my outline ... THAT was tedious!)
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Post Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:24 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Taco Bob



Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 1201
Location: Palm Falls, Florida
 Reply with quote  

The ending is important, everyone will agree. You probably have an idea how you want to wrap things up, but maybe you're hesitant thinking your ending might take away from the rest of the story you put so much into.
Whenever I'm about to do some major change in a story, I start a new word doc, move all or part of the existing story there, and label it "experiment". Then I'm free to do whatever, knowing I won't be trashing the original part. Taking from what knikkki said about three endings, you could write several "experiment" endings and maybe use the one you like best.
If this sounds a little like playing mind-games with yourself, it just may be, especially since I've decided being a little crazy is a good thing for a writer..... Mr. Green

Post Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:25 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
earthshoes



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 213
Location: SW Missouri
 Reply with quote  

Thanks everybody. Just venting helped. It seems to have a lot to do with looking at the hugeness of the ending and all the stuff building towards it and just freezing. It's not a block. It's more like a fear of heights.

For me, walking away, even briefly, is not an option. The last scenes are already outlined and planned. All I've got to do is do the deed.

Taco Bob--writing three endings isn't a bad idea. I may just do that for the sake of exploring my options. It's easy to get caught up in a "there must be only one" kind of mindset with this. I do have a mystery villian thing going on. Might be fun to experiment with who it turns out to be.

Anyway, I put the whole thing on the laptop yesterday and took it back to my room to work--change of scenery and a commitment to not leave the room until I'd written a thousand words. I took coffee, (errm fritos too, but don't tell anybody. I'm always raving about how bad the stuff is for you) and turned on the tv for noise. 'Don't know if it was the fritos, or Incredible Hulk rerun playing in the background (I used to have a crush on Bill Bixby . . .), but I wrote a couple of thousand yesterday morning. Before dawn this morning I wrote a thousand more the normal way--sans fritos and large green men.
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Post Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:59 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
philipw



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 20
I'm right there with you...  Reply with quote  

I'm in the same spot as you, earthshoes. I'm staring the last 5000 words right in the face. Over the course the past three weeks, I've written about 10000 and put into action the events that will lead me to the end. Now that the ball is rolling toward the climax, I'm trying to balance the desire to finish the thing with the desire to take the time needed to do it well.

I know exactly where it's going and the wheels are spinning quickly in that direction. Now it's just a matter of maintaining the creative energy necessary to see it through.

Post Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:30 am   View user's profile Send private message
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
 Reply with quote  

When I was finishing Mr. Undesirable I was having so much fun that I didn't want it to end, despite the drive I had to get it done. I think that helped the ending because I didn't rush it. It was like knowing that I was on my last M&M and I was going to have to make that one last. I was in the same position, having the entire ending plotted and outlined, I just had to put it down on the paper. That was where it came in ticky. When i thought I was about ready to wrap it up other things began to emerge that I hadn't planned on.

Sweat it and suffer through it, but don't forget to enjoy it, too.
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Post Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:40 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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