Monday, November 19, 2012

Writing the Ending of a Novel

I've written over 200 pages, so why is it so hard to write the ending?  Why do I keep putting it off?  These are the questions I find I've been asking myself a lot lately.  As a general rule, despite the chaos in my life, a house full of kids (I have 6) and my numerous interests (which don't include a warm fuzzy feeling when I've cleaned my house), I've generally been pretty good about writing three pages a day on my novels.  Well, that is until recently.

So, what happened?  I've always been a firm believer in "slow and steady wins the race."  Why the change now?  I think it's because I'm close to the end of my novel, or at least the end of the first draft.  I know I'm not alone in this.  I've talked to others with the same problem.  Is it that after investing so many hours in crafting a riveting story line, we can't figure out how to end it?   I don't think so.  At least, that's not the case for me.  I know what is supposed to happen, but conveying that to the reader is another matter.  I think it's more a matter, almost, of saying goodbye to an old friend.

Writing is an escape.  I travel to far off places, eat exotic food, and meet exciting people when I write, despite the fact that I'm still in my den with one or more sick kids.  My characters keep me company.  Maybe ending a book is a little like saying goodbye to an old friend.  Of course, that doesn't mean I can't have new adventures with my characters in other books.  I even plan to, but still, up a novel, is not only exciting, but a little sad.  Maybe that's part of why I have trouble with the end.

Of course, there's also the perfectionist in me that comes into play.  I've spent so long developing characters and plot that I want that I want the finish to be perfect.  This is probably the biggest factor contributing to my procrastination of ending my novel.  I think though, that it's time I take a leap, write an ending, and I can always fix it after I finish it.  
Time to go now and finish that novel--later!

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