Wait…Where’s the End?

When it comes to writing, I’m kind of like the tea party from Alice in Wonderland: “Start at the beginning,” admonishes the March Hare. “Yes, yes,” agrees the Mad Hatter.  “And when you come to the end: stop.”  That’s pretty much how I work.  I don’t write from an outline.  I never have.  I barely have any sort of outline in my head even.  I may have a vague sort of idea for a plot, with a couple of really solid points when I get started, but that’s pretty much it.  Generally, I start with an idea for a story, a couple of solid characters.  I write the story.  And when I find the end, I stop.  This has gotten me into trouble in different ways.  For example, with my Alyraekas  series…well, that’s just it: it didn’t start out as a series.  It started out as one book.  I wrote.  I had plot points that I didn’t have figured out.  Still, I wrote.  The characters solved the problems.  Other characters weaseled their way into the book and unraveled different key issues.  When I found the end of the story, I stopped.  And I had a book that was over 250,000 words.  Enough to make any reader, editor, agent or publisher cringe.  But, I digress.  This post is not really about Alyraekas.

This post is about The Scent of Silver.  This is my WIP from NaNoWriMo.  I’ve been hitting this novel pretty hard recently.  Not just because I don’t want to leave it unfinished (I don’t); not just because I think it’s got a better hook to maybe catch the interest of agents than other works (I do); but because I feel I need to see it through before I can let myself get back to my “real” works, the Alyraekas series (but that’s a ramble for a different post).  Don’t get me wrong, I really am enjoying the book, but I miss my other stories.

I’ve been moving along at a decent clip on The Scent of Silver, progressing nicely, covering a lot of the scenes I’ve worked out in my head.  Last night I had put my computer away for the night and was ironing my pants for work the next day.  As I almost always am, I was writing out a scene in my mind when I stumbled to a halt, coming to the sudden realization that I have no idea how this book is going to end.  The characters have yet to reveal to me exactly how everything is going to play out, what sort of resolutions we are going to have.  I have no idea what the last chapter, the last scene or the last sentence will look like.   I stood there with the iron hovering over my pants, flummoxing for a while.  And while I made it to work with few wrinkles in my slacks today, there still are quite a few in my plot line.  Hmm.  I am fast approaching the end of this book.  I just don’t know what to expect when I get there.

~ S.D. Bullard

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~ by sdbullard on January 27, 2014.

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