From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The End. Almost.

I've never written the end of a novel before. But now I'm 3/4 of the way through, and I'm starting to get to the wrapping up point. I'm trying to remember all the lose strings I've got dangling so I can tie up at least some of them, and have something somewhat complete. That will feel so amazing, to have finally finished a full-length novel.

The weird thing is confronting things I've only been thinking about for months/years and now actually having to confront them. Or at least just things I need to start thinking about for reals now. Major editing, finding good beta readers, researching and querying agents, trying my best to be contract-smart, that kind of thing. I mean, all that's still going to be a while yet, especially anything to do with signing contracts, but I'm getting to the point where I almost have something ready to try with. And that is exciting.

As far as actually writing, though, I could use some tips and advice from those of you who have actually done this before. Finished a novel, I mean. I want to make sure I wrap this thing up right. Of course it's not going to be perfect and it's going to need major changes anyway, but I want to get it as good as I can the first time around. So what can you tell me about making a successful ending?

I'm also finding myself arguing with whatever part of my brain controls motivation. I want this done so bad, and I'm working and everything, but I feel so...slumpy. It's still coming, but it's going slow again, and taking a lot more effort than usual. I hit that kind of thing before, at around the 53% percent mark, and then I got over it. I'm hoping that happens again, that I get even closer to the end and I get some kind of last cross-the-finish-line energy boost. I'm also trying hard not to think too much about what I'm going to do next. Because guys, I have so many ideas, and they are going to be awesome. Next year is going to be awesome. But in the meantime I've got what I'm working on now, and I still love it and will feel so much better about myself and my life and my presumptuous attention whoring from all y'all and people all over the interwebs when its done. So I'm going to just keep going and hopefully get it done this year, but any ideas on how to make that easier or get through it with more smiling and less teeth gritting would be greatly appreciated.

Those of you doing NaNoWriMo, I hope the ending is working out for you. We will make it to the end.

Sarah Allen


  1. I think a surprise ending is always fun. It doesn't have to be happy but it does have to be satisfying with all loose strings tied off in meaningful not trite ways. In my first novel, I knew what the ending would consist of when I was halfway through. On my second it kinda came together on its own. I think you'll know when it feels right.

  2. When I was close to finishing my first novel-length manuscript (it has now been edited down to novella length—a good thing) the biggest temptation for me was to start editing the beginning. Resist this temptation! Just keep going, word after word, until you reach the end. If upon rereading it, the end no longer makes sense, that's ok—that's what editing it for. The important thing is that you finished!

  3. It depends. If it's a stand alone novel, all of the major points need to get wrapped up. Look at Empire Strikes Back. If that was the only Star Wars movie. It would absolutely suck. Nothing got wrapped up. Now if your novel is a series, then Empire is exactly what you want. Leaving everyone wanting more.

    Having wrapped up two novels now, all I can advise is that writing the last chapter is no different than any other. Butt in chair and get it done. If you need to write the last chapter now, that is OK as well. I did that with my first book, then went back and did the fight scenes before it.

  4. I think you'll just know when you've reached the end. And man, is hitting the period button one last time satisfying. I'm not exactly sure what kid of story you're writing, but I love books that end with a kiss :)

  5. Yay for being so close to the end! My only advice would be to follow your gut feeling--if you want to turn off your inner editor for a bit and just write it all out, I say go for it! You can always revise later. :)

  6. You're almost there! I finished my first ever book this year and it was an awesome feeling. :)

  7. Thanks for the encouragement everybody :) I really needed it. I'll get this done. We'll all get this done!



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