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 Re-doing research, just to make sure I have any historical references correct.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)”
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.
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! ?
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.
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