Do you ever have the feeling that you don’t want to write The End?
“Books are never finished, they are merely abandoned.”
I am nearing the end of my 3rd and final draft of my WIP. I am finding every excuse to drag this out. I have spent 6 months with these characters and this story. I am not sure that I am ready for that relationship to come to an end. Thankfully I am working towards a deadline otherwise I would procrastinate by working on character arcs and story arcs for another 6 months. These last 6 months I have disappeared into the world of this story. I know the end is coming and I have already seen it in my mind’s eye. This does not make it any easier to accept. In fact it makes it worse. That is also why I am dragging out these last few thousand words. I know what is coming. I know I must write it this way because everything has been leading me to this point.
“The great art of writing is knowing when to stop.” – Josh Billings
I have tried numerous alternate endings to this story. Why you ask? The ending that this story has been written before the story even began. If I change the ending, I may as well start over. I am dreading this ending though because even if I know how this story turns out, it will still be difficult to write.
“Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.”
Sometimes with some stories you have to get ruthless with your characters. This is one of those stories. As I have been re-reading the last part of this WIP, I am quite shocked at my own cruelty. I am not cruel by nature. But writing just shows you that everyone has the ability and aptitude for both the good and the bad in life. In this story, I have had to bring out the ruthless and the cruel. It breaks my heart to end this story simply because I know the worst is yet to come. I almost want to send out a distress message to my characters to warn them.
“If you focus on the humanity of your stories, your characters, then the horror will be stronger, scarier. Without the humanity, the horror becomes nothing more than a tawdry parlor trick. All flash and no magic, and worst of all, no heart.”
— Don Roff
Why is it so difficult to make your characters hurt? For all the characters I have created, hurt and pain are integral parts to their growth and resolution. This sounds logical in theory but in reality when I am writing these scenes that I know will cause great hurt there is a macabre sense about the words. It is almost the same feeling you get when you drive past an accident or hear about a terrible incident. You don’t want to listen but you can’t help but listen. I think writing difficult scenes especially endings are in the same vein.
“I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.”
So this brings me to this week and bringing this story to its final resolution: its final resting place. I will bring this story to an end this week. I will more than likely shed tears and rant and rave at the ending. But everything in this story has been leading to this point. I cannot put it off any longer.
“If you start with a bang, you won’t end with a whimper.”
T. S. Eliot
So this next week will be dedicated to finishing this story. Then writing the full synopsis for it. The drum roll…..Submission time!
“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him out to the public.”
- Subconscious Hauntings… (dragonflyscrolls.wordpress.com)
- Synopsis: Are you in or out of Sync? (dragonflyscrolls.wordpress.com)
- There’s A Story Behind Every Character (lissawrites.wordpress.com)
- For Novelists Who Hate Outlining (advancedfictionwriting.com)
- Writing Beautiful and Unique Snowflakes (writeanything.wordpress.com)
- 13 Questions with Steve Merrifield (horroraddicts.wordpress.com)
8 thoughts on “The End | Bittersweet”
I know how you feel Kim. For me it’s almost like being at a very long party with some really great people and now it’s last call. I consider myself lucky that in my case I’m trying to start a series so I get to hang out with my characters again from time to time. But ending the story you’re involved with at the moment is still tough.
You are lucky that you get to spend some more time with them… But yes The End is always bittersweet….
Thanks for the good luck.
Thanks also for stopping by 🙂
You mentioned tears…
I was thankful, during the revision process that certain scenes in my book could elicit tears–I’d written “Beyond” myself…
After all the re-readings, when I had the physical book in my hand, I read it again…
Amazing… Those scenes still made me cry 🙂
“Tears in the writer = Tears in the reader”
It is an amazing feeling when you are that connected to your characters and story.
Nice to see you here again. 🙂
KIM! Oh how I feel your pain–and it gets worse as you write sequels because no matter what you did to your characters in the first book it’s all downhill from there.
There is another aspect to writing the ending that is painful–letting go of the story. Saying to yourself and those characters that you are done, their story is told and you are willing to see them free and out in the world. I don’t have kids but I’m sure it’s like putting your six year old on the bus for the first day of school. You want them to be independent but you fear for them–and yourself. Who are you now that they are gone?
xoxoxoxo Great post!!!
You have completely nailed it Patti! Letting go is hard…A part of me wants their story to go on…but I know it is done…Other stories and other characters await me. Now I just have to say farewell. I hate farewells. Thanks for stopping by. x
I know exactly how you feel. I have just finished my complete rewrite. I fell in love with my old friends all over again, and now they have gone. I do have another to edit, and am slowly getting to know Maggie my pov all over, and she is sweet.
Good luck with yours!
Thanks for stopping by Glynis. Funny how you care about your characters just like the loved ones in real life. I even have a soft spot for my antagonists. Good Luck with your edits.