As Tangled as a contortionist

 Another two chapters of my novel-in-progress, Tangled, bit the dust this week. Both chapters 89 and 90 were reasonably short (in comparison to other chapters), and both stayed reasonably true to the chapters in my previous draft (I’m rewriting the book from 3rd person to 1st person and changing the plot somewhat too). But the next instalment, chapter 91, will be completely new and highly emotional, so I have no doubt it will be more of a challenge to write.

Normally, I’d give you an excerpt from the chapters I’ve just finished. But this week, I couldn’t find an excerpt that both made sense on its own and wasn’t a plot spoiler, so no excerpts today. Perhaps this is a good thing – it means the chapters are totally on topic!

You may remember that last week I said I had nine chapters to go. Well, tonight I sat down and looked at how I’ve broken up the remaining plot and unfortunately I identified a couple of sequencing issues that could only be resolved by further chapter breakdowns. So even though I’ve written another two chapters this week and the plot itself hasn’t changed, I still have nine chapters to go. Sigh!

But at least I’m confident now that the chapter breakdown is right, and that the end is well and truly in sight. Which, to be honest, is a little scary. Why? The writer’s equivalent to stage fright, I guess.

Stage fright Cally

I’m nervous about writing the ending because I received some not-so-positive feedback from a professional appraiser about the ending of the last version. Apparently, the ending was, ‘…a little too understated and, therefore, a little underwhelming.’  

Before I read that comment, I loved my ending. I thought it was perfect for the story. Afterwards, not so much. The more I thought about it, the more I realised it was similar to a number of novel endings that have left me unsatisfied. So I know the ending needs work, but at this point, I’m not entirely sure what to do about that. How far do I go? How will I know when it’s right, no longer understated, but not over-stated either? Decisions, decisions, decisions…

So, I’m seeking some advice. Do you have any tips on how to write a killer ending – an ending that satisfies your readers but still leaves them wanting more? Any points, hints or article/blog links would be greatly appreciated!

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8 Comments

Filed under Progress update, Tangled, Writing

8 responses to “As Tangled as a contortionist

  1. I wish I could help – give you some great advice – but I’m still struggling with this too. Maybe try examining how authors pulled off the endings of some books you really loved? And see if you can manipulate those techniques to fit your story? I may not have good advice, but I can offer moral support 🙂 Good luck!

  2. Now that is a good question. I am still trying to decide this myself. :O)

  3. The best endings I’ve written are full of symmetry. Things come full circle in some fashion, even if I just use some lines I use from the opening passages and twist them appropriately.

  4. Pingback: As Tangled as a jellyfish’s tentacles | Cally Jackson Writes

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