Hi folks, I'm continuing my series of Novel Craft. This series is to help writers that have a solid draft and want to bring their work up another level. This week I'm going to write about the "End Games."
Today I'm going to offer three games I play to make my ending stronger, to make it more memorable, to make it more influential. This is going to be short to write. It will take you a while to do...
Okay, this is first game. Take your novel, your beloved perfect novel, and write a new end for it. I go to the last chapters and write in black marker: MAKE THEM SUFFER. (Thanks to Gail Carson Levine for this enduring advice.) I go over every scene and I ask myself, "Am I avoiding agony?" I take every risk that I can think of when I play this game. I write the whole thing with again upped stakes. I don't keep all of it, but I do end up keeping some of it. You will get very good at this game.
The next game is Reinvention. I write the end from a different point of view. Yes, go to the last three chapters and switch narrative mode. If your are in third person, go at the whole chapter from first. Try it from the antagonist's point of view. Try it from the best friend's point of view. Try stream of conciousness. You will find surprises. I guarantee it.
Now the final game, is called "What came after". I don't know why, but I try to tie things up too early. This game is about writing what happens a week after your story ends, then jumping ahead a year, and finally jumping ahead a decade and writing what happens. Did your characters stay hooked up? Bummer, I thought this was everlasting love. Did your character end up being more awesome than you thought? That's a good thing.
I hope one of my "End Games" helps you create a stronger book. Be brave and inventive. Don't hold back! See you next with more Novel Craft.
This week's doodle: Sock Monster.
A quote for your pocket:
I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end. Abraham Lincoln