Sunday, April 13, 2008

Beginnings and Endings
Erica Orloff blogged about beginnings on Friday. That got me to thinking about my current WIP. I usually write a chapter or three when I start a wip and then throw it out later because I realize that I'm just writing back story. But with the current WIP, I'm actually happy with the beginning. But thinking about beginnings just pointed out to me that I really suck at endings. It seems like I get to the point where the mystery is solved, the murder is caught, the disaster is avoided--then what? There needs to be something to tie everything together and it throws me for a loop almost every time. Then spyscribbler blogged about how John Irving said he writes his books backwards. All that made me realize that I don't really know how the current WIP ends. I mean, I know the basics of what happens, but I don't have that final climactic scene in my head yet. I need that scene so I know where I'm going. I think that's why this WIP has been so difficult in such strange ways. So, tomorrow, I'm NOT going to write on the WIP (much). I'll open my Notes file and write about writing it. I'll write about how I don't have that scene in my head and maybe that will kick something loose. Maybe.


spyscribbler said...

I've been reading a book backwards. See, I figure, once you get near the end of the book, you're too "in" it to really see how it's done. So I figured if I started at the end, I would see how everything goes to the end as I made my way through, backwards.

It's sure shaken some screws loose, LOL. It's actually really cool. I'll probably blog about it later this week.

The end, I think, is pretty much the same as the beginning.

I don't know. I've been on an improve-my-endings quest for half a year now.

Edittorrent said...

Hey, at least you have your beginning. That's something worth celebrating! Yay, you!


Anonymous said...

If you're writing a mystery, you need to know the ending before you start writing. Anything else, and you're just gambling that what you're writing will turn out to be worth something.

Liz Wolfe said...

I could not agree more Anon. I met a mystery writer who insisted that she never knew who the killer was until she wrote the book. I can understand that with other genres, but not with mystery. Although I suppose you could go back and fix a lot of stuff. I just couldn't do it though. I need to know my killer.

Erica Orloff said...

Hi Liz:
I always have a "big picture" ending and a "big picture" middle, and a very sure-footed beginning. It's all cinematic to me. But usually, when I get to that last chapter or two, I start to feel like an Olympic gymnast and want to "nail" the final landing. I want the last line to bring the book full circle. Closure. The end.

Liz Wolfe said...

Erica - I know what you mean about it being "cinematic". I see my story like a movie and write it down. And I love it when the end of a book brings it full circle. I don't feel like I achieve that a lot of times. I think it's one of the reasons I really liked my book that's coming out this summer. The last couple of lines gave me that full circle closure.