The Never Ending Ending

September 8, 2010

Fellow writers, I have a question for you. When you start nearing the end of a work in progress, do you ever feel like there’s absolutely NO WAY you’re going to be able to stretch the ending out enough so that it:

A) Doesn’t end abruptly
B) Meets a good word count

I always feel this way and struggle to write a wordy, natural ending. When I met the lovely Lisa McMann, we had a nice conversation about how we both write shorter works and while most authors have to cut things out, we’re always having to add things. Finding out that an author I loved shares the same “problem” as I do made me feel better, but I wish I didn’t feel like it takes me forever to reach an ending.

For all of you who write lengthy, beautiful manuscripts, I envy you.

A lot. šŸ™‚

  • Reply
    September 8, 2010 at 2:42 am

    I do not write lengthy manuscripts at all. I’m trying to get around to writing first drafts that aren’t really short so that I don’t have to rewrite the whole thing. It’s hard.

  • Reply
    Mariam Maarouf
    September 8, 2010 at 3:07 am

    I share the same “problem” šŸ™‚ My book barely completed about 40 or 45K words, and I felt the same about the ending. Let’s just say I ended up not writing anything for about two weeks, suffered insomnia, wrote a “perfect” ending and forgot to save it (remembered that the next morning) and then…finally, my characters decided to end my misery and theirs, and the ending was written šŸ™‚

    What worked for me: 1st, don’t keep the word count in mind: seriously, who cares if it’s a novel or a novella as long as it’s good? I know I don’t. And, just write what you imagined would be the ending, then when you re-read, YOU judge whether it’s too adrupt or not, and if you think it’s okay, make someone else read it; if it feels fine to you both then it’s probably okay šŸ™‚

    Err.. I hope I made any sense. Sorry if I didn’t; it’s 5:04 a.m. here and I don’t think I’ll remember this comment 5 mins from now.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2010 at 12:17 am

    I had the same problem with my WIP- I finished the story around 50K words, which is not a terribly sellable length. So I wrote a 25K word sequel and concatenated them together. ^_^

    It actually works really well from the perspective of a mythic cycle- First half is the hero going out into the world to find a great magic treasure, second half is him returning and using the treasure to improve the lives of his friends and family.

    An alternate way to the same result is to take a page out of Tarantino’s textbook, and write a parallel story to weave into the main plotline.

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