Wednesday, 4 July 2007

In search of [ENDS]

This week I have arrived at a place I've never been before. I am at the end of the novel. And I mean THE END. Only, I'm not quite sure how to end it.

I know that whatever I write now can and will be revised, but somehow I would like to finish with some oomph, something other than . . . "[work out how to end this later]". It will not seem real until I close off with something that at least feels right for now.

But how to finish? In desperation I have feverishly searched the pages of Ship of Magic, Book 1 of Robin Hobbs' Liveship Traders. She ends different story threads in different ways. Some characters are filled with new resolution, others end on a conflict, yet others confront new and promising possibilities. This has been helpful.

Yet still I sit and stare at the screen, wondering if the last few hundred words should be deleted, or at least repurposed (probably). Wondering whether it matters which POV character I finish with. Wondering just what will hit the spot with the reader.

We have all read wonderful books with crappy endings. The endings may be crappy because the wrong thing happens (in which case you just get cranky with the author), other times the end is crappy because there's not enough of it, or alternatively too much. I despise novels that end before I've done with the characters, before I'm satisfied that they've come out the other end of all the drama with a sense of resolution.

Whatever happens, I have made up my mind that it will be finished this week. Then the task will be to commence revisions, because it's not fit for anyone to read just yet. I am really looking forward to the revisions, because I have so many issues I want to address, characters to flesh out, settings to embellish, seeds to sow. Really exciting. Seriously thrilling.


  1. ellen,

    i’m having an OMG moment.
    that is so completely thrilling – congratulations!

    elmo’s mummy

  2. OMG, Ellen! How exciting!!!

  3. OMG! Wow, I didn't realise you were that close. How exciting. Congratulations. So, now do you give yourself a pat on the back, a reward, a week/weekend (or two, or three) off?

  4. Woohoo!!! That is great news! I'm ecstatically happy for you. Yay!

  5. Fantastic news, Ellen. That's so exciting.

    I have to take issue with something you said though (I'm smiling as I write this!): "I despise novels that end before I've done with the characters" -- do you think you *ever* would have been done with Brashen Trell? lol.

    I'd say you should finish from your main POV character's viewpoint. It's not totally the end, is it? Aren't you having a second book? That makes a difference, too.

  6. Thank you all for your OMG wishes. It is indeed exciting. I had better luck this morning and have hopefully resolved my difficulties, although it may take me into next week to finish it now.

    Tracey, indeed, I could have done with more of Brashen Trell. And Jocelin Vereuil as well -- a treat in store for you when you get around to reading Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Dart etc.

  7. Yes, I am looking foward to reading them, although having worked with a Jocelyn, and as it's one of my daughter's friends names, I wonder if I'll stumble over the name being male.

    Good luck getting it finished!