Sunday, November 13, 2011

Writing the Ending

I have always maintained that the ending is the hardest part of the book to write. My style of writing is to develop characters I care about and then hand the reins to them, so to speak. Beginnings are usually easy, as I place these characters in the middle of some action with a dilemma to solve. Then I ask them, "What will you do, now?" and the story takes off. I don't outline. I don't plan the end until my characters take me there.

However, in a recent assignment, my Fiction Writing instructor gave the class an interesting assignment, which I just completed. "Write three possible beginnings and three possible endings to the story you are working on." Each of the three was to take a different approach from the types of endings and beginnings outlined in the book, Ficton Writer's Workshop, by Josip Novakovich.

Although I am only about two-thirds to three-fourths of the way through the novel, Kendall and Kyleah (working title), the third book of the twins trilogy, I found this assignment both useful and fun to do—especially the endings. This was a surprise to me. Knowing the possible ways I might end the book gives me a target—a beam of light in the distance I can use to keep my focus. I still don't know which of these three endings, if any of them, I might use. But writing them has energized me and made me want to get on with the journey, over whatever rough roads lie ahead, toward that beam of light.