This year, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to write five days a week. So far, that resolution is going pretty well. Although there have been a few nights when the latest episode of “Agent Carter” takes precedence over my writing progress, I’ve been continuing to add words to last November’s National Novel Writing Month project. This week, when I sat down to continue writing, I realized that the ending is in sight.
At first, this was a slightly scary thought. It dawned on me that I wasn’t sure how this was all going to wrap up. I just finished writing a climactic and dramatic scene that involved some characters fighting a pretty fierce demon, and I was so focused on finishing it that I wasn’t thinking what might come next. In the outline that I wrote last November, the ending was a sort of vague “everything gets resolved” kind of bullet point, so there wasn’t much guidance to be had there. I knew, though, that I had to think seriously about it now.
Endings can be complicated. Some folks are either a beginnings person or an endings person. Personally, I’m neither. I prefer the middle of a story, when you’re deep in the weeds of what you’re writing and can barely hack your way through the rough underbrush of everything you’re creating. But endings have to happen eventually. If you want to place the “finished” stamp on a project, you need to come to a conclusion. You might consider whether you want your ending to be happy or sad, abrupt or drawn-out, epic or soft-spoken. Do you want everything to be sewn up, or do you want to leave some loose ends?
Lucky for me, I had one of those great shower revelations (revelations that come to you in the shower) about how to round out my own story. This week I plan to follow those roughly scrawled notes of mine straight to the finish line on this first draft. If you’re having trouble coming up with an ending for your story, I suggest studying the endings of some of your favorite stories. Then consider what your characters have been through and where you would like them to end up. Happy writing!
— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan