Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Problem With Endings

I hate writing the last page of a story. I avoid it. I will write a whole draft and go back and edit it a time or two before I write the last few paragraphs.

There are a couple of reasons for my difficulty with endings. The most important one is that as long as I haven't written the ending, I can keep fiddling with a story and I don't have to put it aside, which entails feeling the let-down that comes with finishing the birthing process. It happens to me whenever I finish a big project of any kind, but it's worse with novels because I love them so much when I'm writing them and I come to inhabit the story-world to such a degree that I am reluctant to leave it and return to living only in my own Reality.

So, I avoid it. I write everything BUT the last page. Then I edit the entire draft, sometimes more than once. Then I get very busy with other projects to avoid getting back to that last page.

Some writers have a hard time with a blank page. Starting a new story. A blank page does not intimidate me at all. I could start a new story every day for a year, and never tire of it.

The hard part for me is that last page. Words 1-70,000+ are easy. It's the last 1500 words that make me crazy. I know what I want to write. I know how the story ends (unless the characters take over and change it, which they sometimes do). I just don't like to actually write it down. It isn't writer's block. It's a bad case of loving the story too much to finish it and  let it go.

Writing is often fun and exciting. As I wrote last time, sometimes it's boring. But, for me writing endings (even happy endings) makes me sad.  

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