From the title of this post, you may have thought I’d be writing about books I’ve read. Indeed, there have been many a book where I’ve wondered when will this book end. The author seemed to be toying with us–drawing everything out, teasing, until we toss the book at the nearest wall. But, actually I want to talk about the problem I’m having with my current work in progress.
I can’t seem to figure out the ending. I have all the characters developed and moving right along. There’s a murder and a mystery surrounding it. Things progressed nicely through the early writing of the book. I had a vague notion about who committed the murder and why. But the notion was vague. When I get close to the the ending (in that character’s mind), things got murky. Everything seemed to fall apart. The motive for killing, the killer, everything was in a mixed up mess, more tangled than my leash when I walk my two dogs.
Here’s what I decided to do.
- Keep writing even if I had to go back and change everything. If I could just keep going each day, then my hope was everything would work out.
- Don’t try and force what I vaguely thought might happen. In fact, I had to try and keep an open mind. Perhaps the person I thought had committed the murder, didn’t. Perhaps the original motive was something altogether different. In fact, I had to be ready for surprises just like my readers.
- Get away from the work. Stop writing and start thinking. Go to that place where my imagination runs free. Let go of everything and see what happens next.
With these three goals in mind, I began again. This time, I wrote and re-wrote. I allowed the characters to play out the scenes even if I realized that scene might have to go or one previously written might be trashed.
Eureka! Yesterday it all came to me. The loose ends tightened and things started to fall into place. Nonetheless, I’m still working on it. But, today I believe I might really be able to end this book.
If so, what tips do you have for me and for my readers? Share!