Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Writing Endings – by Marie-Louise Jensen

I don’t know what it is about writing a novel, but it seems to go through a sort of time warp. There’s the tremendous excitement of that first chapter. I always spend ages planning it out in my mind, deciding just how I want it to be. That usually seems to write itself when I finally sit down to it. But then begins the long, slow and seemingly endless task of working out and writing down the whole story. It’s not that I don’t love doing it, because I do. But when I’m in the middle of it, it sometimes feels far too great a task to complete.
There are despondent spells when it all feels difficult and it’s not going well. That’s the long part of the time warp, when time speeds up around me and the novel seems to slow down. My characters won’t always behave and the plot needs adjusting. Then there are spells where everything’s flowing beautifully and I just know it’ll all be right eventually. Those chapters buoy me up and keep me going.
But it’s towards the end of the story that it develops a momentum of its own. Probably because I’ve spent so many months imagining how it will end and planning out the final sequence of events. But suddenly the story starts to run, then race then fly towards its conclusion and it’s hugely exhilarating. That’s when I know we’ve entered the good part of the time warp and before I know it I’ll be flying over the finish line in breathless haste.
But just in case I get too uplifted, there are always the rewrites….


Luisa said...

Oh, great post! I feel exactly the same way about writing endings. (And the rest of it, too!)

Paul Lamb said...

It does seem like an endless task, doesn't it? Right now I'm still about 20,000 words away from completion and it feels like I'll never get there. I look forward to the days when my writing runs, races, and flies to the conclusion. I'll get there, won't I?