“Wait… I have to tell a complete story?” (followed by panic)
“…And it can’t suck?” (followed by despair)
That about sums up the last two weeks of my life. It began when I discovered a gigantic plot hole during my first revision, which I briefly blogged about here. That’s when I asked myself the painful question, “But how does it end?”
One of the challenges of writing a novel is figuring out the whole story. Writing 50K words in a month is a daunting task when you barely have any spare time, and reaching a daily word count when you have a million other things to do first, is exhilarating! It can leave you thinking that you’ve really got a great idea going… until you reach the editing phase and then you go, “what in the world was I thinking? This is ridiculous!” It’s a lot like this quip from Daniel Tosh:
Ever have a nightmare, then decide to tell somebody about it, and about halfway through your explanation you realize you’re retarded? Is there any way you can describe a nightmare to be scary?
“I had a scary dream last night.”
Okay, tell me about it.
“I was running through this pool of marshmallows in my flip-flops, right? Then the manager came running out of nowhere and he starts going ‘Mmrammrhhhamrm’, and there were only 18 seconds to eject before the bowling alley closed, and, Tom, you were there but you didn’t look like Tom and that was freaking me out!”
And so, you have to have a story, and it has to make sense, and it has to have an ending (even if that ending is a frustrating lead-in to your next novel you haven’t written yet). Hey, nobody ever says writing a book is easy, and if they do, they’re either a superhero, or they’re lying to you.
This is the part where I’m supposed to share how I figured out the ending to my novel. Well, here goes…
This is how I’m doing it (notice how I said “doing” instead of “did”):
- Banging my head against a wall
- Dream journaling
- Temple rubbing
- Having a mental breakdown
- Setting a deadline (hey, I wouldn’t have gotten to this point without the month of November, why not try the NaNoWriMo approach?)
- Just keep writing
So that’s my process. And this is my deadline: February 28th, 2015.
Ready, set, go…