How to finish this friggin' thing?

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Thread: How to finish this friggin' thing?

  1. #1

    How to finish this friggin' thing?

    Okay, so I'm 86,000 some odd words into my novel and have come to the end and it is so anticlimatic it even puts me to sleep.

    It has been a search and pursuit by a 65 year old man for a murderer he thought he saw when he was 13.

    He's not sure if he saw it or not because he seems to have repressed the real memory of it, but the scene has been haunting him in his dreams ever since it happened. Or when he thinks it might have happened.

    So after this long search with dead ends and problems and sub-plots, and someone trying to kill him for some reason, he finally tracks down this weak, sick, dying, gentle old man hiding out in an old mining town up north.

    That's it.

  2. #2
    Mentor Dluuni's Avatar
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    Have you rested the story yet? Put it down, set it aside for a couple weeks while you work on something else, then reread it.. you might see some threads in there that you can tug on. This sounds like the search was a self-discovery one, to me, drama. What did he think he would find? An action movie scene? Did he discover something important on his journey?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Dluuni View Post
    Have you rested the story yet? Put it down, set it aside for a couple weeks while you work on something else, then reread it.. you might see some threads in there that you can tug on. This sounds like the search was a self-discovery one, to me, drama. What did he think he would find? An action movie scene? Did he discover something important on his journey?
    No, not rested yet. I'm sitting here planning to write another 500 words today while the old guy explains again how and why he did what he did and disappeared for 53 years, even though I have already got that in the last 1500 words.

  4. #4
    Hi MichelD. What would happen if the old guy had a hand-grenade under his duvet?
    Good luck
    BC

  5. #5
    Mentor Dluuni's Avatar
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    It sounds like you absolutely need to rest it. Now, before you write more stuff that you already know isn't going to make the final cut.
    What's your NEXT WIP like? Tell me about that!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Dluuni View Post
    It sounds like you absolutely need to rest it. Now, before you write more stuff that you already know isn't going to make the final cut.
    What's your NEXT WIP like? Tell me about that!
    It's about American and Canadian big-city refugees who came to a small BC coastal village rejecting all the attachments, responsibilities and obligations of living within the confines of contemporary society in the 1970s and became the people they were fleeing from.

  7. #7
    Mentor Megan Pearson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichelD View Post
    Okay, so I'm 86,000 some odd words into my novel and have come to the end and it is so anticlimatic it even puts me to sleep.
    Hey, Michel D! After you take a couple weeks off from this, I have two ideas that may (or may not) help. First, when you do go back to it, read it out loud. To someone, anyone--except houseplants & cats. What you need is perspective & this can provide that by allowing you to hear what you've written and also allowing you to hear what someone else hears you as having written. Write down that instant feedback in the margins as brief blurbs: Confused here; Wants to know about...; Why did this happen...; etc. Then I'd let that rest, too.

    Second, and this will be heretical to devoted organic writers, have you outlined your work? When you get back to it, outlining might not be such a bad idea. Outlining can help you identify how your conflict develops and resolves within the context of all other story events. It will also help you chop everything that can lead to a good snooze. If it puts you to sleep, it'll surely put your readers to sleep, too! You don't want that. Get rid of it. Heartless, I know, but Dluuni is right--some time off from this venture will crystalize what's important so you can chop what's not important. An outline will not only help show what's superfluous, but also guide your rewrite in matters of pacing, plotting and character develop, establishing chapter divisions, so-on & so-forth.

    Oh--and I think you can do all of this without knowing your ending. It might even help you discover how it should end.
    "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
    ~ John A. Shedd


  8. #8
    Thoughtful reply Megan. Thank you.

    Michel


    Quote Originally Posted by Megan Pearson View Post
    Hey, Michel D! After you take a couple weeks off from this, I have two ideas that may (or may not) help. First, when you do go back to it, read it out loud. To someone, anyone--except houseplants & cats. What you need is perspective & this can provide that by allowing you to hear what you've written and also allowing you to hear what someone else hears you as having written. Write down that instant feedback in the margins as brief blurbs: Confused here; Wants to know about...; Why did this happen...; etc. Then I'd let that rest, too.

    Second, and this will be heretical to devoted organic writers, have you outlined your work? When you get back to it, outlining might not be such a bad idea. Outlining can help you identify how your conflict develops and resolves within the context of all other story events. It will also help you chop everything that can lead to a good snooze. If it puts you to sleep, it'll surely put your readers to sleep, too! You don't want that. Get rid of it. Heartless, I know, but Dluuni is right--some time off from this venture will crystalize what's important so you can chop what's not important. An outline will not only help show what's superfluous, but also guide your rewrite in matters of pacing, plotting and character develop, establishing chapter divisions, so-on & so-forth.

    Oh--and I think you can do all of this without knowing your ending. It might even help you discover how it should end.

  9. #9
    Megan, check your pms please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Megan Pearson View Post
    Hey, Michel D! After you take a couple weeks off from this, I have two ideas that may (or may not) help. First, when you do go back to it, read it out loud. To someone, anyone--except houseplants & cats. What you need is perspective & this can provide that by allowing you to hear what you've written and also allowing you to hear what someone else hears you as having written. Write down that instant feedback in the margins as brief blurbs: Confused here; Wants to know about...; Why did this happen...; etc. Then I'd let that rest, too.

    Second, and this will be heretical to devoted organic writers, have you outlined your work? When you get back to it, outlining might not be such a bad idea. Outlining can help you identify how your conflict develops and resolves within the context of all other story events. It will also help you chop everything that can lead to a good snooze. If it puts you to sleep, it'll surely put your readers to sleep, too! You don't want that. Get rid of it. Heartless, I know, but Dluuni is right--some time off from this venture will crystalize what's important so you can chop what's not important. An outline will not only help show what's superfluous, but also guide your rewrite in matters of pacing, plotting and character develop, establishing chapter divisions, so-on & so-forth.

    Oh--and I think you can do all of this without knowing your ending. It might even help you discover how it should end.

  10. #10
    The obvious thing is to have the old man be pulling a con job. He sells himself as some frail old guy on death's door, but turns out he is still very much an active killer, and maybe even a ped too.
    Y'know, someone drops a plate and the clue on the bottom reveals that this old man had been killing people throughout the whole story. he's really a mean, nasty old man who just didn't want to get snuffed by your hero.

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