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Posts Tagged ‘endings’

  1. The Parallel Lives of Beginnings and Ends

    October 10, 2013 by Kiersi

    riding into the sunset

    I had a post go up yesterday on YA Stands about “Preparing for National Novel Writing Month,” where I talked briefly about my outlining process. The most important thing I need to have in my head (or, preferably, down on digital paper) before I launch into a new manuscript? The beginning image of the story, and the ending image.

    I use this phrase “image” intentionally. I don’t think it’s necessary–at least in my process–to know all the details before diving into a first draft. But what I need to know is:

    Point A: Where the story begins. The tone, style, and voice; the immediate image I want to place in my reader’s mind.

    Point B: Where the story ends up–usually parallel to the opening image (Point A) in tone, style, and voice, but changed, now that the character and plot arcs are complete. If the story opens with a man riding into town on a horse, then it makes sense for him to ride out of town on a horse at the end. (Even better if he comes in at sunrise, and leaves at sunset.) He is, of course, not the same man he was before, as a result of his time spent in the town. (more…)

  2. 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.

  3. Ryan’s “Glow” a Not-So-Dazzling Thriller

    January 9, 2012 by Kiersi

    Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

    Glow, by Amy Kathleen Ryan

    Glow, by Amy Kathleen Ryan – The first in a trilogy called The Sky Chasers, Glow is a sci-fi novel for the young adult audience. I’m absolutely delighted by the idea of it: true, honest-to-god space adventure, replete with spaceships, artificial gravity, and interstellar colonization, all in a neatly-wrapped package. Unfortunately, the prose, characterization, and treatment of the reader leaves something to be desired.

    Our heroes are Waverly and Kieran, two sixteen-somethings aboard an intergalactic spaceship headed for New Earth. The colonists were split between two ships, the Empyrean and the New Horizon; one contains a secular group of colonists, and the other, a religious group. Like many sci-fi writers before her, Ryan examines the role of God in space travel and interstellar imperialism, and shows us where blind belief can lead humankind astray. (more…)

  4. The Mirror: The Final Installment

    December 15, 2011 by Kiersi

    Dragon's Eye, by Margaret Lindsay

    Dragon's Eye, by Margaret Lindsay

    The Mirror

    The Final Installment

    View all chapters

    He is running.

    His sword is stained red.

    Towards the castle. Weaving between houses and shops and servants’ quarters, seeing clearly every stone under his feet, his chest heaving deep inside him.

    Up an outer staircase to two heavy wooden doors, locked with iron brackets and a thick iron lock.

    Clambering up the wall, reaching for ivy and tree branches.

    Inside a third-story window, sweat running down the small of his back and his forehead and his hands.

    Then his vision dims, spirals away from him, and Calean is blind to the world again. (more…)

  5. Wordstock 2011: Day Two

    October 11, 2011 by Kiersi

    Oct. 9, 2011 – After one successful day finished and done, Wordstockers return to the Oregon Convention Center on Sunday with a vengeance. It’s only 9am and all the bike racks are full; bikes are chained to railings and stairways and bus stop signs.

    Workshop 3 – Building an Online Audience: How to Connect with Readers & the People Who Can Get You in Front of Readers Online (Elge Premeau)

    I won’t reveal all the secrets Elge ( bequeathed to us, but I will tell you one thing: If she’s right, the way to find readers and sell books is to do your homework. (more…)

  6. Delighted By The Wise Man’s Fear

    October 3, 2011 by Kiersi

    The Wise Man's Fear - Book cover


    Today’s review: The Wise Man’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss – I still haven’t figured out to whom “the wise man” in the title refers, but I’m hopeful that one of you can explain it to me.

    Before we even get to the end of this review, I’m going to tell you right now that The Wise Man’s Fear gets 4 hearts out of 5.

    “What?!” You might say. “How could you? The follow-up to Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind is even better than the first one! It’s a tale of swashbuckling adventure, romance—a legend in the making!” (more…)

  7. Rebirth of the Fairy Tale

    September 23, 2011 by Kiersi

    Outfoxed, by Dylan Meconis

    The Fairy Tale is constantly being reborn. The two examples that struck me recently are My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, a collection of forty re-imagined fairy tales by contemporary writers, and a short comic titled Outfoxed, by Dylan Meconis (@quirkybird).

    Before today, I didn’t realize that fairy tales contain an essence, something that distinguishes them so clearly from just any short story. It was simply: “I know a fairy tale when I read one.” I’ll be looking for your input, readers, to add to this list of characteristics that clue us in to the fact we’re reading a fairy tale.

    1. A fairy tale can happen anywhere. (more…)