Pacing yourself to the end

So with a fully sketched out outline for an ending, all that is left is to write it. My guide has served me well, and each day I end my writing knowing exactly where I will pick-up. This fact should elate me, I should be extremely happy that the ending is in sight once more, and that I will get there soon. However, while those things to make me happy, I am finding that my ability to tell the story does tend to slow down after I hit 1,500 words in a day. This isn’t a bad thing, as that word count is completely respectable, but now that I know how the story ends, my desire to get there faster has never been stronger. This makes me find writer fatigue far more annoying than before, and while I’ve managed to at least get 1,500 words out every day that I write,  it never feels like enough. December is drawing to a close, and if my hopes of getting most of my editing done in January are going to come true, that means I really need to get my first draft fully completed as soon as possible.

I am aware that over the next three days, I won’t get much writing done at all. I am returning home to AR, which I hope will serve as a good bit of inspiration and rest, as when I come back (on Christmas day) I want to finish the year out on a big note.

Here is hoping!


Justified but no less difficult

The scene that was impossible for me to justify where I originally meant to place it, has finally been written, finding a home in an earlier chapter. While it is certainly justifiable, it is also despicable. Even though I knew it was going to happen, and had prepared myself for it, it is hard to let your character do something bad. Granted, if I didn’t, well I wouldn’t much of an author. I met the incredible author Steve Berman, a few months ago, and we talked about a book of his I’ve read several times. He said he is often asked whether he would write a sequel to it (I actually like that he didn’t as it ends so satisfactorily) and he said he couldn’t as anything he did, would just cause the narrator more pain and grief.  At the time, I agreed, but I didn’t fully understand what he meant until today.

Most of the fiction I wrote was short, so the problems never had particularly high stakes, or, if they did, you hadn’t spent pages and pages investing in the character, so readers were still far enough removed that the pain was easier to handle. Now that I’ve written this scene in the novel, I can see that there is still more pain to come, but am also aware that there will be an end to it. That said, it is still incredibly difficult to put my characters through all this, which means my writing has been slower as of late.

While part of me is lamenting the pains for my character, the author inside me is celebrating that I’ve managed to fix what was once broken, and that the path to completion is now clear. I wonder if the reason my first attempt didn’t work out, was because I was afraid to write the truly terrible things that must occur. If so, it is my hope that in the future, I won’t shy away from them. I can see now, that the pain does have a pay off.

Sometimes you need more than a plan

So it has been a while since I last wrote. Part of this was due to the fact that I was in a show, which helped remind me a lot about what I was writing about. However, in the past few days I have done everything in my power to commit to writing the end of my book. I did everything that people tell you to do. I told myself it didn’t need to be a perfect ending, that I could fix it later, etc. But my characters were literally rebelling against me. The ending I originally had planned just did not work. It didn’t add up. At least not as it was. Now I can’t go into specifics, but I decided I couldn’t just barrel through to the end. I needed to backtrack, and fix some stuff. I was afraid this meant revising literally EVERYTHING I had already written (A process I’m not ready for yet) so I decided to cheat a bit. I went back a little bit, and saw an opportunity that I had intentionally had my characters not take. I thought about it, and said “Well…I didn’t want that to happen then…but what if it did?” and to my amazement, it seemed to make plotting the ending so much easier. While I’m still working out a tiny kink (I have two ideas and just need to pick one) the rest of the ending is really well organized/plotted out. This is a big step up from my vague notion of what would happen. I think the reason my understanding of the ending was so vague, was that I had no way to justify it as it was. Now the ending feels like it will be satisfactory, or at the very least, well earned.

I found the idea of beginning the editing process from page 1 through what I have now, too scary to handle. If you’re having similar problems, maybe the method I’ve used will help you. I will report back in a few days to discuss whether this new plan is a success. I have high hopes.