Dear readers, I try to sound cheery when I write in this blog but right now I am not cheery. Not at all. I am all aboard the struggle bus, cranky, bad attitude in tow and I’m wanting to quit this whole writer thing and go tend bar in the Caribbean. It’s warm there and I can drown my feelings.
I wrote here a little while ago about endings and how I was feeling the pressure to come up with a good one for mine. That’s a pretty mild statement. It was more along the lines of lying awake at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering if an ending will ever come to me, or if I should throw in the towel. I was all perky and glass-is-half-full in that post. Now I’m not. Now I’m full of despair.
Well, no use wallowing in my frustration, so I decided to do something about it. With all the abandon I could muster, I wrote ending after ending after ending. I didn’t care if it was sad, dark, over-the-top, sentimental, confusing, unrealistic or anything like that. I just wrote as many as I could. All of them were stupid.
Except for one.
I patted myself on the back and shut down my Mac for a two week vacation. I came back, fired up my Mac ready to plug in the scene and pronounce myself done, but I read it over and almost slammed my head on the desk.
It’s a great scene…it’s just not a great ending scene.
Am I ever going to come up with one? If I can’t decide how to end the book, is the book completely pointless? Have I been sweating over something for over a year for no real reason at all? How am I going to fix this? How am I going to end this damn thing?!?!
I once read that Hemingway wrote 47 different endings until he settled on The One for ‘ A Farewell to Arms.’ That’s great and all, but time is of the essence here. I have a deadline to meet! And I am nowhere near the literary genius he was.
I keep on trying out things in my mind like ‘how would [insert author name here] end it?’ Well that’s a dumb question. I am not that person. I would also ask myself ‘how would one of my friends want it to end?’ This is also a dumb idea because while my friends have great taste, this is not their novel. It’s mine. And what kind of endings do I like? Well, I like a good heartfelt twist. I don’t like unnecessary deaths. I like a sense of conclusion, but with room for interpretation.
It’s so easy for me to write that out but it’s much, much harder to write it and put it into your novel. Trust me. It makes me want to toss the whole thing and start from scratch but that’s not only terrifying, it’s also stupid because while there is a pretty big pile of crap in that draft, there’s also some sort of gem in there. I know it. My writer intuition tells me so.
I just want this novel to be done and it’s not and I’M FRUSTRATED.
What to do? Any advice friends (writers or not)? Words of encouragement? Adorable pictures of puppies to take my mind off my very first-world-creative-type problem?