writing

The End-of-Book Breakthrough

I got close to the end of the book I’ve been working on, then paused to make a list of things I need to go back and fix in revision in order to set up that ending. I ended up with a two-page list, and I decided that maybe I should wait to write that ending until after I’ve fixed all those things. Fixing those is bound to change things in a ripple effect, so I’d end up having to rewrite the ending. I’d practically be dealing with different characters by then.

I think a lot of this is because as I went into that final couple of scenes, I finally figured out some of the main things this book is about. I’m sticking pretty close to the planned plot, but my mental image of the scenes for that plot is very different now. The underlying emotion is different. The inner workings of the character arcs are different, as are the interrelationships of a lot of the characters. A character who was essentially a walk-on “extra” when I introduced him has ended up playing a pivotal role, which means I have to go back and develop him. Characters I thought were important and spent time on vanished along the way.

Basically, I got to the ending sequence of the book and finally realized what it was all really about and where all the characters are going. There’s a lot of that I didn’t set up. Also, what I thought would be the big, climactic scene that just needed the aftermath resolution afterward to end the book seems to be a whole sequence that should probably be the last quarter of the book, so I need to rework a lot of the middle to get the structure to work.

But I’m excited about this because I’ve felt the book “click” for me. I’ve made a lot of notes. Now I’ll be putting it aside to deal with revisions (I think — I don’t know exactly when I’ll be getting those notes) and to get some other stuff dealt with, and then I can dive back in and really make this story sing.

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