Monday, April 6, 2015

E is for Ending

Not for the blog but on editing that end of the novel as you can do that any time. I like to write in order but for editing, I just hop around the story depending what catches my attention for the day. So, for the E topic, we're going to look at editing the end of the story and maybe chapter endings too. Check out A to Z blogs to see other blog posts for the challenge.

The End

It's an important part of the novel. After many many words, you finally reached the point in the story where things need to stop and the pages can no longer be turned. In the first draft, it can be a great moment or one full of anguish depending on how you got there. But when you do, it feels good, especially that very first time because it's done. (Unless, of course, you write the end first or in the middle, as not everyone does the very last pages or chapters last when writing.) There is success in finishing that first draft and a sense of completion. Then you remember you have to one day rewrite and edit.

Rewrites are fine and will vary depending on how much needs changed. Then there are the edits and our topic. Much like the first page and chapter of the novel, that ending needs to be spot on because you want the person who reads it to finish with a lasting impression from those final pages. There will be time spend and maybe a little anguish, trying to get the words just right.

Many things to consider. The end needs to feel like the end, all the loose strings should be somewhat tied and if there are books to come after, some sense of more to come can be helpful. There is a lot to take in and consider for this part of the novel. Even if there are sequels, the end of the book has to feel complete enough or readers will be unhappy. Yet one can only edit it so much before they just need to stop. There will always be something you can change and at a certain point, time may come to let go.

There are other endings involved in editing too. There are chapter endings, scene endings and even sentence endings. What has a start often has an end. Each chapter ending, for example, has to accomplish a few things. It marks a small end but at the same time, often the goal will be to give the reader interest to keep reading. Some are okay with giving obvious stopping points, but many want their reader to have that urge to keep going, to stay up all night if need be in order to know what happens next. Editing helps create those chapter endings.

I'm not at the end of anything in editing (chapter/section/novel) but I look forward to reaching that point because I still work linear, so it will be close to the anticipated end of editing. A nervous and exciting ending as well.

How are your endings?


Guilie Castillo said...

"It's an important part of the story"--that made me laugh out loud. Wait, I'll explain. For some three months now, I've been working on the last piece for a short story collection / novel in stories that will be published later this year. My publisher, who's an angel of patience and understanding (as well as a maven editor), is about to fly over from Australia in order to kill me with his bare hands. And I. Can't. Get. It. To. Work. Endings--chapter, scene, the whole enchilada--are *not* my forte (if I even have one). But they're crucial. They'll be the death of me.