Friday, February 18, 2011


What's the most important part of a book? It might be the beginning--that needs to be exciting, mysterious, and pull the reader in. Or it could be the long middle part--that's the meat, where the reader falls in love with the characters and lives their lives right beside them.

But I think it's the ending. Because, really, when you finish a book and walk away from it, what do you carry around in your head? The beginning? Sure, it was nice. Like an appetizer. But it doesn't stick. And although the middle is (hopefully) the satisfying, fulfilling part, it's the end that needs to be genius. It's the end that wraps it all up, bends the mind, and makes characters immortal.

And I'm right there, right now, in my novel. It's horrifying. I'm seriously hours away from wrapping it all up, and I've detailed out what happens at "the end," but I'm not sure. Is it the right ending? Would another Amber, in an alternate dimension, come up with a more perfect ending?

Last night I was going to finish my book, but it didn't feel right. So I gave myself half an hour to list out ten possible endings. Which turned out to be fifteen different endings. Even one listed as: Everyone dies and the bad guy wins. (How Post-Modern of me.)

And I am still not sure. But needs to get written. And it's not like it's going to print tomorrow. Things can change, endings can be edited, and that "perfect resonance" I want can be worked out in the next pass.

So what does one terrified writer do?

She blogs. ;-) And then she sips at her coffee and goes back to work. (And maybe splurges on some chocolate.)

I've got 2 hours before I have to pick my son up from preschool. Let's go.......................


Mary Witzl said...

It is surreal that you and I both wrote about our terror of endings on the very same day! This is exactly how it feels -- another me in another dimension might have picked The True Path, and here I am about to screw it up. I feel like I'm standing in front of eighteen roads and only one of them is right. The power! The stress!

Sophia Richardson said...

I have to say, as someone who flailed around for months just to bang out an average ending, I think your way of doing things is better. You gave different endings their chance to prove themselves worthy and now you're going to do the work. Much better to my ears (eyes?).
- Sophia.

Kaylie said...

My endings always stink because I'm so excited to be done that I just fly through it. But that's what revision is for. So I say stink it up and fix it later.

Girl Friday said...

Good luck with yor ending! I'm still wrestling with mine but hopefully we'll get there in the end :)

Tracy Edward Wymer said...

Congrats on getting there. I prefer hopeful, as opposed to happy, endings. Good luck!