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.