So I am approaching the end of my manuscript with 85,719 of my target 90,000 words written. This is when things are really starting to get more difficult. Ideas came fairly quickly when I worked on them throughout the first draft process. Having a general outline in my head and a list of scenes I wanted to include in the story definitely helped with that. But now I am tasked with taking everything that has happened and tying it up in a way that makes sense for a satisfying ending.
The problem is that, even with a general idea of where the story is going, I discovery wrote most of this novel. Different characters died than were originally supposed to. Some died for different reasons or in different ways. Some characters who were originally supposed to appear only a time or two became much more important based on how my main character interacted with them.
Needless to say, working through the entire process of writing a full novel has been very interesting thus far. I have never lived with the same characters and situations in my head for such an extended period of time.
Every other project I have started on has been abandoned within the first 20,000 words. All abandoned for various reasons ranging from loss of interest to the story just not working, to me not having the time to continue writing, and then losing interest during the gap in work.
So, not only is it getting increasingly difficult to figure out the perfect ending for the story, but I find myself thinking a lot more about ideas for my next project, which means I am not devoting as much time to the current one. This may be contributing to my difficulty with the ending, or it may be a symptom of the difficulty.
If anyone listens to the Writing Excuses podcast (which I highly recommend), one of the things that they say every once in a while is that you just have to let yourself write something bad so you can go back and fix it. This is also one of the Pixar rules, so I think I’m just going to give it a shot and see what comes out.
Who knows, maybe what I get is the perfect ending.