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How does it end?

June 7, 2012 by Kiersi

How does it end? Work on my WIP has emotionally stalled at 114,000 words.

I just thought I had more time.

I thought the wind up to the climax would take longer. Maybe not longer–in fact, it’s far beyond the acceptable length for a YA novel. (Though it is purposefully a stand-alone tale, and Harry Potter did it, so why not? Hmm.) I simply figured I’d have it all pounded out by now, by this point in the story. That I’d know how it all would end.

Up until now I’ve worked off a general idea: There’s a big-time betrayal, an out-of-left-field twist at the end. Good guys confront bad guys in epic battle. Then comes a climactic confrontation, a showdown. The good guys win, but at a price.

For a long time, I knew those bullet points. Later I filled in some spaces, like, “The Emperor is going to have this awesome prison where the cells are suspended by chains over a giant steam boiler.” Cool. Good image.

But the mortar is missing. I have all these big awkward rocks with which to make a wall, and nothing to hold it together. The length issue–I can fix that with good editing, if it needs fixing. Without glue, though, the story won’t make it. It’ll be like a runner falling just before the finish line because he spent all his strength early.

I just have to keep remembering: first draft. First draft. Even if the writing falls apart at the end, even if the story meanders another 25,000 words (please please please don’t go on that long, please) I can mop it up like a bad spill on my rewrite. I’m not afraid of a rewrite.

What I’m afraid of is not getting it done. Ever. To just write and write until the story is gone, gone in the stratosphere, like an elevator to the moon.


  1. I agree. Finish the draft and then worry about revising. You can cut if you feel it’s too long. I love cutting things out. Yes, I’m weird like that. 😉

  2. oogh, I know that feeling…it might never be done…it might float off like a helium balloon…
    Weather the storm.
    Woman the torpedos.
    Take breaks when you need them.
    Work when you don’t want to.

    NEVER (nevernever) Give up!

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