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We interrupt this NaNo...

Sunday, I hit a wall with my novel. I have been working on the action parts of the story for most of this month, and had 7-8 scene/chapters left to go and just could not figure out how to write them. Ends are tricky. In some ways, they ARE the novel, because they are what everything is building up to. Whatever your novel is ABOUT is encapsulated in the ending. Which is why a bad ending is worse than a bad middle, or a bad beginning.

The ending is also very important if one of the goals of this novel is to make it the first novel in a series. The ending sets up whatever comes next, and my interest in what comes next determines my interest in writing a series instead of a stand-alone novel.

I had an ending of my novel all figured out, but just could not get it written. And I think I realized Sunday that I don't like the ending. The planned ending was not a place I felt inclined to build future stories on. It was all politics of the story world and I think I really want to tell a story about one individual and her personal struggle with all that world-building as backdrop. Right now, the beginning and middle contain arcs supporting both of those endings/emphases--politics of the story-world and her personal struggle. It's a little chaotic, representing two competing visions for the novel simultaneously.

Next step: nail down how I want the ending to play out, then decide what stays and what goes in everything I've written.

This may or may not mean that NaNo 2013 is officially over. Not that I was keeping a word count or anything.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 27th, 2013 10:02 pm (UTC)
you have my sympathy here. I have one novel I love, one of the first I finished. I've never managed to fix that end and it needs it.
Nov. 27th, 2013 10:14 pm (UTC)
Endings are tough
Nov. 27th, 2013 10:50 pm (UTC)
absolutely, outrightly brutal at times
Nov. 27th, 2013 10:08 pm (UTC)
Which is why a bad ending is worse than a bad middle, or a bad beginning.

Now you tell me! ;o)

Seriously, I always had trouble with endings. I'd think I had a complete story and, whoops, not so much.
Nov. 27th, 2013 10:15 pm (UTC)
My new plan after I come up with an ending is fix all the current chapters by editing them in reverse order. The ending trumps all.
Nov. 27th, 2013 10:29 pm (UTC)
I think you are absolutely right in that the ending has to completely nail it.

I think it's good though that you relized the story that inteests you is not exactly what you were writing. Bacuase now you can look at what you have written with a certain mindset.
Nov. 27th, 2013 11:16 pm (UTC)
I've been writing both at the same time, I think. Trying to force the one I *thought* I should be writing, while simultaneously writing the one I wanted to write. So the threads of it are in there.
Nov. 27th, 2013 11:06 pm (UTC)
If you just chose to write through the ending, do you think that would help you decide the actual ending?
Nov. 27th, 2013 11:15 pm (UTC)
I have actually been doing timed free-writing of some chapters or scenes as part of this NaNo, since it makes the writing less mechanical and more open to ideas "off the beaten outline." So, I am certainly going to be doing that, just to see what comes out.

It works best after some prep, though, in terms of thinking through what you want to do and letting the back of your mind mull it over.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )