Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wrapping Things Up

You know my favorite part of a new project? The beginning. I think most writers would agree with me. Everything is fresh and new, well-greased wheels are turning in my head, and the story is unfolding before my very eyes.

You know my least favorite part of a new project? Most authors would say “the middle,” because everybody knows that the muddled middle is the hardest part to get through. But no, not for me, that is not the part I dread. The muddle middle is easily overcome with a little dedication and often unfolds into something more awesome than anything you imagined. No, it is not the middle that I dread.

I hate endings.

I am so bad at ending things. Even if it’s an ending I’ve been working towards the entire story, which is usually the case, I never have confidence in my endings. I cringe with every sentence and over-think every word. “Is this cliché? Is it forced? Would she really say this? Oh god, is he skewing out-of-character? What if this doesn’t make any sense at all?”

And so on. I’m never happy with my endings, and it leaves me reluctant to write them. This is why word quotas are important for me towards the end of a project. If I waited for inspiration on my endings, I’d rewrite the beginning over and over again and never wrap it up.

Moreover, I always have this problem bringing projects to an end. I dread it, and not just because they’re tricky to write. I feel the same trepidation when I reach the end of a book series, or a comic that I really enjoy. I don’t want them to end, so even if I know the ending’s going to blow my mind, I’m reluctant to reach it.

This is a big problem right now, because both of my major projects are at their ends right now. At least the video game has an excuse – it’s really tough to write a conversation that has to change depending on what was said before – but there’s really no reason for this to be happening in Necropolis. I’m literally two and a half scenes from the end of the draft. I should be able to pound it out in a week.

But instead, my mind wanders from the subject and onto blog posts, coding and spending hours wandering the internet. I sit down to write Necropolis, and I stare at the screen, my mind wandering off into the snow.

I wonder if other writers have this problem. Does it change if you don’t plot, the way I do? Or do other plotters have the same issue? How does everyone else approach their endings, I wonder. Does it get easier the more endings you manage to write? Or is this just part of the whole writer thing?

As you can see, the ends of my blog posts are no better than the ends of my stories.

1 comment:

  1. I have the same issue! My old woman story is so close and I can't finish because I haven't found the appropriate ending yet.

    Furthermore, I feel pretty confident in my ability to come up with good story premises... But then I can never figure out where they will go. So annoying. There's got to be a trick I'm missing.