Monday 18 December 2023

Ending The Book Right - The Creative Process


We all know that when it comes to writing a book, sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in the process itself and not want it to end. When I wrote my debut, I was desperate to stay with those characters and do it all again, and it's actually one of the reasons that I started writing a series next because I wanted to create a world as such and get to come back to it time and time again. My best friend told me that I couldn't write a sequel to Blackout without it seeming completely ridiculous, and she was right. I'm so glad I had her to steer me through those early days of writing!

But the point is that sometimes you can get a little too caught up in the beginning and the middle, and the climax, that you kinda don't end the book right. I can, off the top of my head, think of one completed series I did in the past few years where I completely flubbed the ending. It's something that plays over and over in the loop in my head because I completely forgot to write the epilogue. At the time I told myself: oh this doesn't need another chapter, all the loose ends are tied up, done!

And then, later, at night when I'm trying to sleep a few weeks after this I realised: poop, what about this character arc? Or this point? I'm gonna need to, at the very least, write an epilogue because if I don't tie up that plot point then my readers will come for me while I sleep and I will never live through it! I'd gotten so caught up in writing the end, that I just completely missed the huge problems with leaving the book right after the climax.

If you think about it, the end is a really important part of the story. If you don't do it right, then you've basically left the story in a way that can be unsatisfactory to readers. You have to hit that end point right, and especially if it's the last in a series, you have to tie up as many of the loose ends as you can. There's nothing wrong with leaving a few dangling, but the big ones? The ones that have caused the characters so much upset and angst? Nah, you gotta tie those up, especially if you already know what they are!

Going back to past Joey, when I was finishing off my longest series, the one I started writing because I didn't really want to ever say goodbye to characters and the world, I had the epilogue and ending go one way. That same best friend read it and was like: uh, do not leave it like that! Not after eight books and everything the characters have gone through. While yes, part of it was the way it would go, I had gone to an extreme that I could understand why best friend was telling me to change it. So I did, and I actually ended up agreeing with her because I think if I had left it like that, it wouldn't have been doing the story justice. It wouldn't have been giving the characters, and readers, the closure they needed to move on.

My point is all of this is that while there is a lot of pressure when it comes to the end, as there should be, just because you wrote it one way does not mean it can never change. Yes, you need to be true to the story, but sometimes getting a second point of view, a second look at it from someone you trust can be the reason that the story ends up better than it would've been without it.

Take care of the ending, and it will take care of you. Happy writing!

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments below!

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