Thursday, June 4, 2009

The End

I typed those magic words last night.

But...I'm not at the end of my manuscript. Not yet.

I did something I've never done before. I wrote the last chapter before I was there yet.

This is very unusual for me. I've mentioned before how I typically don't outline, and when I get stuck, I'm stuck until I figure it out--I can't jump around because I don't know what will happen next.

But with this WIP, I've known the last scene from the moment I started writing. Nothing clear and definite, mind, but I knew where I needed the characters to end up, emotionally, and I knew I had to get them there.

Currently, I'm just before the climax scene, and I've been hesitating. Part of it is being overwhelmed with work--I'm afraid I'll rush the scene and forget about doing something correctly. Part of it, too, is that I'm not 100% sure how to bridge the gap from where I am to that shadowy end scene I've pictured since I started writing.

So I did something unusual (for me). I wrote The End. I wrote that last chapter, and I was able to make concrete that image of the final scene. And then I wrote the chapter in front of it, because I knew what needed to happen immediately before that scene so they'd be emotionally on the same page. I worked backwards like that for four chapters.

I look at it like this: The End is the like the final destination on a voyage. I've gotten down most of the road, but just before I reach that final destination, I come to a river, and the bridge is missing. The End is on the other side of that river. I've been building the bridge on my side of the bank--getting to that climax scene, building up the tension, getting my characters ready to cross that bridge--but building a bridge is hard. So I waved my magic writer-wand, and started building the bridge from the other side, from The End side, and we'll just let my writing meet in the middle.
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