Getting to “The End” (Writing Conundrums)

I don’t know that my recent lack of motivation to finish my book could accurately be termed “writer’s block”, since I have, in the meantime, written several other things.

I have the ending plotted out in my head, and I’ve made copious notes in my notebook working out the “how to get there from here” logistics.

I am at that point in writing where I always seem to land as a project nears the end–I don’t want to be done with the story, so I stall.

Logically, I know I won’t be finished. Far from it. I will be reading and re-reading, looking for spelling errors, plot holes, continuity.

In my process, a lot of the above editing will get addressed before I actually write the finale. It all has to knit together, and sometimes beginning to end doesn’t mesh on the first try.

I dislike re-writing endings. Since I don’t always know the ending when I begin–I am a “seat of the pants” writer, for the most part, especially with stories that exceed 50,000 words– I often have to address the beginning and middle of my story before I can complete it.

So, I am reading. Brushing things up. Changing whole scenes. Adding and subtracting. Re-doing research, just to make sure I have any historical references correct.

This is important–I once published a work with a very tiny scene referencing a baseball game between the Yankees and the Braves, who don’t even play in the same league! Embarrassing! Of course, I corrected it, but oh! My credibility!

Sure, I could claim alternate universe, but…lie, lie, lie. I goofed! I learned a valuable lesson. Check, re-check and check again.

This doesn’t insure I will never goof again–undoubtedly, I will. I am not perfect, or even close.

Having confessed my Achilles heel– reluctance to reach “The End”–I’m curious: Do any of you writers here have the same writing issue? I’d love to read your comments!

3 thoughts on “Getting to “The End” (Writing Conundrums)

  1. Dear Paula,

    I can relate to much of what you say. Accuracy is so important, isn’t? I’ve written a lot of historical fiction and have become quite anal about it…down to what slang words would be used in what era. My first novel takes place between 1899-1903. At one point I had a character saying he didn’t have the intestinal fortitude for something, only to find out it wasn’t a term used until much later. In another novel in the series I did extensive research on chewing gum and Cracker Jacks for another character. I’ve pet peeves about some movies like A Beautiful Mind which won Academy awards. In a scene that takes place in the 50’s a woman’s on the phone holding a piece of Tupperware that didn’t come out until the 70’s. So now that’s all I remember about it. And my list goes on.
    I’m also a “seat of the pants” writer or “pantser” as some of us say. For my third novel, I did start by writing a timeline. But my characters decided to veer far afield from it.
    Like you, I have a work in progress that I keep setting aside to write something else. For me it’s the most personal thing I’ve written and I think at times I put it down for a bit because of the emotional implications for myself. The last one I wrote, which is with an agent, came together fairly quickly but was hard to finish because I loved the characters and didn’t want to say goodbye.
    I said all that to say that your process and stalls along the path sound perfectly normal to me. I think those side trips into other stories and articles serve to make us better writers and freshen us up for the longer WIP. Perhaps you’ll give Friday Fictioneers a shot sometime. 😉
    In any case, best wishes in all of your writing. I’ve enjoyed your stories in WU.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    1. Hi, Rochelle,
      You mentioning that movie with Tupperware reminded me of my big pet peeves with an Amazon Prime show called The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I LOVE the show, don’t get me wrong. But, boy, do they throw in a lot of very recent slang. It throws me right out of the story every time they do it.
      I will have to check out Friday Fictioneers. I have been writing Drabbles in WU! so I understand the premise. Just followed that on Facebook.
      I sure wish I had time to write as often as I’d like, but then my parents would go hungry and dirty!
      I have enjoyed your stories, too! You should know I still have the trembles in my belly after reading 1942. May I share it on my page, or would you prefer to wait until it comes out on WU! ?

      Best Wishes,

      Paula

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      1. I love me some Mrs. Maisel, too. I do wish they’d use a thesaurus and stop throwing the F-Bombs around so much. And I’m with you about the recent slang.
        Writing has become easier since I retired from full time employment 4 years ago. I used to get up at 3:00 AM to write before going to work.
        I’m thrilled at your comments on 1942. Since I’ve already posted it (making reference to WU) I don’t see the harm in your going ahead and sharing it. And thank you for the huge compliment in doing so.

        Shalom,

        Rochelle

        Liked by 1 person

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