All Good Endings Must Come to an… End.
“I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.” -J.K. Rowling
Since this is a partial month, this will be a short lesson. Also, I want you to focus on finishing your stories! For those who have already finished writing, I will gently point you in the next direction.
Now, about endings… When writing a story, the end can often feel like a mirage in the distance, seen yet never reached. Writer’s Sabotage grows more intense than ever, demanding even more focus and persistence to overcome.
Be warned. You may be lured into a “just hurry and finish it” trap. Have you ever read a book with an ending that felt rushed? The author likely struggled with, and succumbed to, this urge. You may even convince yourself that this is the best ending for your story. I assure you it is not. Your story’s ending demands as much care and attention as its beginning.
It’s crucial to slow down, see the ending through your reader’s eyes, and weave the ending your story deserves.
Some questions to address while writing the ending include:
(not all of these questions might apply to your story)
- Is this the end, or will you be writing at least one sequel?
- What final mood, impressions, and emotions will your story conjure for readers?
- How will you tie up all the loose ends?
- Do you even want a tidy ending, or would mystery benefit your story’s ending?
- What questions are readers left asking?
“Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.” -J.K. Rowling
Liberating Your Inner-Editor
Prior to finishing your rough draft, your inner-editor was trapped, unable to escape and sabotage your efforts to tell your story. Now that your story has an end, you may set your inner-editor free. I will not cover editing in-depth in this class. Instead, that will be covered in next term’s (hopeful) class, Write Your World : Finishing Touches.
That being said, many authors write several drafts. You needn’t wait until next term to begin revisions. Read, re-write, and repeat.
With this in mind, I leave you with J.K. Rowling’s best advice for reviewing your written work:
“When rereading last week’s work, the trick is to stop for a biscuit just before your blood sugar levels drop to ‘every single word of this is worthless.'” -J.K. Rowling