Ending at The End

I was just reviewing the books that I’ve read this year in preparation for a future post, and it occurred to me that there were a lot of great reads. Action, adventure, etc. The build to the climax was generally good in all the books I’ve read (I’m excluding the non-fiction pieces at the moment, because, well, my reasons should be obvious….).

My biggest beef with the ‘problem’ books was the ending, in almost every case. In one way or another I was let down (sometimes a little, sometimes a lot) by the turn the story took. Now that I’m writing the ending chapters of FJR–the ‘last bit’ as Deb calls it–I’m finding that my ‘inner heckler’–as Deb calls it–is up and yelling loudly.

“You can’t do it that way!”
“No one will like this!”
“You’re gonna piss your readers off by doing that!”
“You’re going to disappoint everyone and no one will read your next batch of drivel.” (This one is particularly loud.)

It just won’t stop. I’m sure part of the problem is the time of year. It’s hard to get ‘alone time’–as I call it–when there’s relatives/dogs/cats around during the holidays. When I do have a free half hour or so, I get into a rhythm and, inevitably, am interrupted.

Yes, I realize that I’m whining after the whole “Cowboy Up” speechiness. It’s not that I don’t want to write it. I just have to find a way to shut everything else up. Then, when I type “The End”, I’m done for this year. I’m gonna go read a ton of books and hopefully, when I’m ready to revise, those books will have shown me how to end at the end.

Deb FJR Writing Problems

jenny maloney View All →

Jenny writes dark fiction that her mother hates. Her stories and essays have appeared in Across the Margin, Pantheon, Shimmer, Black Denim Lit, Skive, and others. When she’s not writing her own stuff, she’s reading mysteries for Criminal Element. When she’s not writing fiction or reviews, she’s writing/directing/performing/designing plays at Springs Ensemble Theatre.

4 Comments Leave a comment

  1. This is when your trusty hubby can come in handy. I’m sure you can sweet talk him into helping you out on this one so you can get some spare time to finish the novel. Or, perhaps your mom would be up for some bonus time with her grandkid. Get creative. Get FJR finished. Don’t worry about doing it right, ’cause as long as you’ve got it down you can always fix it later. You’ve got a handful of people who’ve already volunteered to help with that part. The part we can’t do is write your rough draft. That’s all you, babe. Just do your part, then leave the next bit up to us. That’s what we’re here for.

  2. I’m just busy calling things other things, aren’t I? 😉If you think you’re going to piss off your readers with the ending, I’m REALLY looking forward to it. Those endings that just have to be the way they are but aren’t necessarily happy are usually my favorites. I will admit to having trouble writing them though. MY inner heckler seems to like happy endings, too.Do you need me to come over and tell everyone to get out? I’m sure Ali will help. I can’t do it at my own house so I’ve got lots built up. Just say the word.The word is “pineapple.”

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