Saturday, January 16, 2016

Novel Craft: A Better Ending

Hi folks, I'm continuing my series called Novel Craft. I'm uncovering what has worked for me in the last year as I have moved forward with my novel writing. This is a way to make a stronger ending to your book. I found it very effective. It helped me untangle some weakness in my plot and gave me new energy toward a project I had grown frustrated with.

I asked myself  a simple question: what is a better ending to this story?

Yes, that is it. I'm not great with complicated solutions. This is the absolute truth. I love to make complicated plans, but I rarely enact them. Embarrassing but true. I have to find elegant, simple solutions to succeed, and my writer-sense (not be confused with Spidy-sense) lets me know that my question was going to work.

My method to answer this question may seem weird; I talked to myself about it while driving my umpteen errands. I suppose people looked at me and thought that is one crazy gal. Oh, well. I chattered on about the tried and true ending, poking at my ideas. I started by asking myself questions. How can I make this character suffer more? How can her darkest moment be darker? What would bring this character bigger change?

There was a little drama, like--I don't know if this is going to work, and then, yay, ideas popped up. I continued to chatter on about the how these new ideas might be better than my old one. I chattered for about a half hour. I'm pretty sure I'm not the first author who uses the the professional "chatterer" technique.

Finally in midst of my chattering, eureka, a better ending to the story popped in my head.  A way better end. I wrote that ending, and, yeah, I started chanting (while writing), "I've got this!"

Hint, hint, simple questions and a conversation with yourself may help you improve your story or more, even your life. Try it. Thanks for dropping by. I will return next week with more on this series.

Here is a doodle for you:

Here is a quote that spoke to me this week. 

The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. David Foster Wallace


Vijaya said...

I like the picture of you talking to yourself! I catch myself doing that too, usually on my walk and I'm sure some people think I'm strange. Something about movement makes the story flow as well, no?

Molly/Cece said...

I do think that kinetic input helps my brain think. I have no idea why.

Mirka Breen said...

A good ending echoes the beginning. I think of them both as bookends on a shelf.

Molly/Cece said...

Hi Mirka, I do think it is useful to think of those bookends on a shelf, something sturdy that holds the middle together.