Saturday, August 3, 2013

Is it possible to overthink your ending?

My life is complicated, but sometimes I wonder if there's anything more complicated than the ending of my novel.

I keep telling myself that I'm "marinating it" - which means that I'm procrastinating and pretending I'm brainstorming at the same time.  And in some ways, that's good.  After rushing to finish my key chapters before the OYAN Workshop, a bit of a break is a good thing.

But a couple days ago I completely overhauled my outline's ending for the third time, and I'm wondering just how long is too long.

What freaks me out about this novel is that the ending has to be perfect, and I know I can't write it perfectly.
Stories have to be born ugly, but after writing over eighty thousand words building up to this climactic ending, I don't want it born ugly.  Ehhhhhh.

The picture in my head is so sad and so beautiful and hard, and if it doesn't come out that way then I'll be plunged into a dark pit of writer's purgatory for at least a week.  So apparently I think that revising the outline 293 times will help prevent this disturbing end.  Maybe it will, maybe it won't.  But I think in the end I'm just going to have to tighten my belt, straighten my fedora, and write it.

It still gives me butterflies.  I don't want to get it wrong.

But I guess that's what revision is for.

And this, my dear reader, is your random Jake moment for the day.  I felt a little guilty about not blogging for a month, so you get a chaotic monologue instead of something deep and insightful.  Happy day.


Catherine said...

I've always had trouble with endings too. I tend to get impatient with not getting it perfect, and just write something terrible instead (cue dark, dramatic revision music.) Good luck on your ending!

Writer4Christ said...

I have a problem, trying to figure out my endings. I sorta know what's going to happen but it's kinda complicated till I outline it (which I've been neglecting, though it's in my head). Complicated endings are hard.

Leilani Sunblade said...

I despise writing endings, so I definitely feel your pain. And it just gets worse the longer your book or story is, though I don't think I've written 80,000 words of anything yet in my life.

Aarathyn Arvell said...

Tag, you're it!

Alice Kouzmenko said...

I COMPLETELY agree! The ending is just so difficult. I think it's the pressure of having to tie up all of the loose ends and making it all as satisfying and great as possible. And I decide to make it harder for myself by not planning or making any kind of outline, so I just get to the end with absolutely no idea what to write.

Anastasia Cross said...

I LOVE ENDINGS!!! It's the beginnings that kill me. Currently I am writing the second installment of a series of four novels, and I'm so stuck I can't even write anymore. I don't know why, because I have it all figured out and everything, and I'm even at an exciting battle scene, but...AHG!

I think I feel the same way you do about endings, only about beginnings. I want so bad to set the right tone, and give the right impression of all my characters, and make it interesting, and hook readers, that I end up just overwhelming myself and falling into a writing coma.

...Anyone else get like that? ;)


Alice Kouzmenko said...

That's so interesting! I think that beginnings are so much easier because I'm excited and I know what I'm writing about..., I don't even really worry about making it interesting, I just write, and edit later.

Anastasia Cross said...

That's what I try to do. I'm just such a perfectionist! It really inhibits the "flow of writing". I'm really working on getting over that pesky writing perfectionism. One of these days... ;)

Sherkan Malik said...

A disturbing end is sometimes a good thing :D

Sherkan Malik said...

Seems like the outline is a never ending nightmare
oh and check my blog out too it's fun:

Isaac Permann said...

Hey Jake!

Just wanted to let you know I started blogging again! :)