THAT BIT BEFORE THE END …


… of a novel that drives me nuts!

How many of you out there are novel writers? Who of you are plotters, and who’re the pantser’s?

Either way, I’m betting you all have/reach a certain point of your novel(s) that you struggle to get past.

Am I right?

Yeah, well … me, too.

Mine is that bit before the end.

You know the one?

You’re kinda trying to make the run-up to the stuff that will wow the reader–and to make the grand finale as grand as possible so it’s not forgotten by the time the reader turns the last page. But at the same time you don’t want to take away from the HEA you have planned, or the (for non-romance writer’s) ‘everything’s going to be okay’ reassurance, or (for the more convoluted minds out there) the twist you hit the reader with that leaves them staring at the page with a chill down their spine.

I hit that spot in Darkness & Light and rewrote a certain few chapters about three or four times before comfortable with their direction—I won’t clarify which ones/where due to spoilers for those who haven’t read it yet.

I hit that spot in Blue Moon (#2 of The Holloway Pack Stories and not yet released). Again, I shan’t clarify where for the same reasons as above.

Now I’ve hit that exact same spot in Caged (my current NiP and #3 of The Holloway Pack Stories). I’m less than 10k words away from ‘The End’. I know ‘how’ it ends. I know what has to happen between ‘now’ and ‘then’ for the reader/characters to reach the end. But … man, it’s like my head is trying to rush through it at manic speed because it’s seeing that light at the end of the tunnel. You know—that brilliant white light which pulsates with an energy that you know will leave you feeling 100% exhilarated, ecstatically happy, sad and exhausted all at the same time. You ever seen that light? Yeah, well, I can see it like a beacon in a storm and my darn stupid head wants to be there already.

So … what am I doing to ensure I don’t write something totally crap along the lines of:

Ethan headed back in, kicked everyone’s butt before they retaliated and he had to rely on help to win. Then he cleaned up the mess. Then he went home. Then he and Sean participated in an event which brought some exciting news for the pack. Then he reunited with someone he’d p****d off. And everyone was happy again. Yay, Ethan!

The End!

You see the dilemma I have? If I sent stuff out written to that standard, I’d be put in the stocks and have cabbages thrown at my noggin. Because it SUCKS!

So … because I have a perseverance I’m proud of (though it only exists in my writing), and I have more patience than is healthy for one person to possess, I’m making myself write it at the speed of a slug. To rush would be catastrophic. My tale would end up a mess. Whereas if I take my time, I’m forced to think about every scene between ‘now’ and ‘then’, and have far less chance of dragging the reader past details that have the potential to be important.

What about you?

How do you overcome it? Do you assume you have writer’s block (pffft—does … not … exist!)? Or do you slog on through? Maybe toss the novel aside and tell yourself you can’t finish it?

Where is your stumbling block? Do you have any great tips for getting past it?

Darkness & Light is available at the following outlets:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

WHSmith & Waterstones

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8 thoughts on “THAT BIT BEFORE THE END …

  1. When writing novels, mine is at the very beginning. Yep, those first few pages to draw the reader in before they even know the names of who they’re being drawn in by. So you can imagine that frustration! Sitting idle with an enormous story left to write 🙂 I constantly end up fighting the urge to put a bunch of backstory where it clearly doesn’t belong. Because I’m so darned impatient, I’ll move beyond it and come back for it later…get the bones constructed first. I know…not the best advice, but it works for me!

    1. So long as it works for you, that’s all that matters. 🙂
      I on the other hand have some kind of orderly ocd, because my head won’t let me write out of sync, so I guess it’s a good job it’s not the beginning I stall on. 🙂

  2. I stall at just finishing the damn thing. 😛

    When I ‘have to’ write the HEA, sometimes I struggled with the sigh-worthy ending. I know how I want to get there, it’s the sharp crisp ending that sometimes slips away. I also have a habit of having a few scenes that need to be strung together to reach the ending. A lot of times I peter out and skip ahead to what’s pounding in my head. It’s a bad habit but I don’t like losing that scene at it’s peak.

    Hey have I mentioned I’m going to get back to Ghosts. I promise this time… after I write this story in my head….

  3. My stumbling block varies. It usually hits when I’ve realized a plot change or course of action requires that I go back THROUGH the entire manuscript to fix it. Because then … that’s exactly what I’ll have to do and whatever comes after that point where I stopped will sit and wait for my ‘course correction’. 🙂

  4. I hear ya loud and clear. I, too, am a pantser and my biggest hurdle always comes just before the end. Even in the short story that has now turned into a novella I’m currently writing. At (what I thought at the time) was 1k left to write, I couldn’t sway my muse from the final moments long enough to write the lead-up to it. I finally gave up, wrote the last damn scene, then went back to fill in the gaps. I ended up re-writing the whole thing anyway, but that compromise helped me over the hill. 🙂

    1. Hmmmm, maybe I should give in and just write the last two scenes so I have my destination to head for?
      Nah, forget it–would never be able to. My head’s far too stubborn. 🙂

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