Monday, March 19, 2007
The Construction Zone 12. - The END
You're reaching the last third of your book and you think everything should just fall into place. So why isn't it?
I said in the beginning, all three areas have their own challenges. And endings are no different. You're getting close to that happily ever after and some of the most exciting parts of the book are imminent. But somehow...it's not any easier.
THE BLACK MOMENT. Where this falls depends on your characters and their journey. Perhaps the black moment, that space in time where all is lost, happens for both your characters at the same time. Perhaps the heroine has hers and the hero has his at different times (which is often how I work). Regardless, you have to get it right. You have to plug it FULL of emotion so it's leaking out the sides. You have to devastate your characters. If you split your Black Moments, one might happen closer to the middle and the other within the last couple of chapters.
In Hired By The Cowboy, the character's black moments happen not in the same scene but in consecutive scenes, so pretty much at the same time.
In Marriage At Circle M, though, Mike's black moment is different from Grace's and it was very right for the characters and the situation. The same thing with book three- the hero's black moment comes first, then the heroine's.
But it doesn't matter when it happens as long as it's in the right place and is properly devastating.
Then...then you have to put it all back together again. The ending has to be satisfying, so you need to ask yourself a few questions and allow yourself to have a few passes at it to get it complete.
1. Look at your character's conflict. Has it been resolved? And here's the biggie - has it been resolved by the growth of BOTH characters?
I mention this particularly because I had to revise the ending of my latest because the hero hadn't shown enough personal growth. My editor was absolutely right and I saw that as soon as I started "fixing" it.
2. Have you tied up loose ends? There are always little plot points that you weave throughout your story, after all that's what's given it great depth so far. Make sure you don't leave any of these dangling. If you are writing a series it is different. I read Blood Secrets lately which is the first of three "Valorian Chronicles". The characters got their HEA - but the external plot feeds through all the books, so it was a great blend of satisfying ending and OMG I need to buy the next to find out what happens.
3. The HEA - this scene is what we've been waiting for the whole book. The part where we know all is well. That together they are stronger than apart. That they are meant to be and confess all. Don't scrimp on it. Infuse it with emotion and passion and commitment.
Then, write THE END and go out and celebrate! You did it! You finished your story. All that's left is prettying it up - or is it?
Come back this week for the next post on editing!