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Writing The End of a Novel: What to Do When The End is Near!

March 18, 2014

the end is near

It truly is a remarkable experience to see a project through to fruition.

I started this novel when I was single, child-less and barely out of university. It has travelled with me across country, through a few home changes, the birth of two children, a wedding, and a number of career explorations (oh, I do remember the days of sneaking work on my novel during lunch breaks at boring office jobs!).

But I’m nearing the end and it’s not quite what I expected.

I was hoping for more elation.

Instead I’m gritting my teeth like a marathon runner with an untied shoe lace.

WHEN WILL THIS END?

WHEN WILL THIS THING BLOODY WELL END?!???!?

Ever time I sit down to write, I’m the kid in the back seat on a long car trip.

“Are we there yet?”

No.

“Are we there?”

No.

“Are we there yet?”

NO!

I am trying so very, very hard not to yield to temptation, for the need is strong with in me to tie it all up in some final, SHORT summation:

And then they solved all the problems, figured out all the mysteries, had tea back at her place and lived happily ever after. THE END THE END THE END

But of course that won’t do. I can’t do that to my characters. I can’t just cut it all short like that. The story has to end properly at an appropriate rate–and with appropriate dignity.

This situation brings to mind a tight rope walker I once saw on TV. I think it was the guy who walked the tight rope between two building in Las Vegas.

He said something along the lines of: when I near the end of my tight rope walk, the inclination is to speed up. But that is when mistakes happen. I have to make myself slow down so that I  keep my focus.

Otherwise: danger! danger!

Of course, writing a novel’s ending isn’t as perilous as walking a tight rope between two buildings without a net, but his warning rings true: slow down, keep focused, don’t rush the process, let it unfold carefully and with deliberate thought.

No madly flinging myself from the edge, then. I’ll need to keep the pace.

So, writers: just keep the beat steady and eventually, we’ll get there.

One comment

  1. […] rectify that. I am nearing THE END, starting to cast my eye towards publishing, and I can’t keep calling it ‘my […]



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