inevitableentresol: lady in Edwardian dress holding a fan (fan lady Edwardian music hall)
[personal profile] inevitableentresol posting in [community profile] write_away
I have a real trouble writing endings. I plan my ending, I can see it, and then just a little from the final push I often grind to a halt.

This has happened to me many times. It always seems to be for a different reason. So far these have included:

> I hit a plot point I hadn't worked out yet, or forget what I'd decided to do about it.
> There are so many threads to tie up and my brain busts something trying to hold onto them all.
> I get worried readers won't like how the story is going to end.
> I get sucked into research instead and never come out.
> I get crippling embarrassment that my story is rubbish, and if I don't finish it, I never have to show it to anyone.
> I get distracted by other ideas for stories and lose momentum.
> Story fatigue. My brain just wants a break from these characters or the setting.
> Or conversely, I'm enjoying the story so much I don't want it to end.

Does anyone else have trouble with endings? How did you solve it? Or are some stories just better off staying unfinished?

About half the time, I breeze right through to the end of a story no problem. I don't know what makes these any different than the ones that I have trouble with.

Any thoughts? What works for you?

Date: 2015-02-10 06:42 pm (UTC)
splinteredstar: (Default)
From: [personal profile] splinteredstar
"> There are so many threads to tie up and my brain busts something trying to hold onto them all."

Gah, that's the one I struggle with. Everything is great until I have to resolve things - shit, I have to have a satisfying conclusion to this character arc! honestly, sometimes I just throw drafts at it until it works... (or I get tired of it.)

The research one is more likely to happen in the beginning, for me. I can't start this novel until I have a scientifically rigorous definition of consciousness! (...I've nerd-sniped myself several times lately.)

(as for the "never having to show anyone" - you /never/ have to show anyone anything. It's your story - do what you want with it.)

Date: 2015-02-10 07:25 pm (UTC)
sarillia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sarillia
I really wish I had some useful advice on this but I'm not sure how this works for me. I always plan my stories about 3/4 of the way through and then leave the ending open as I'm writing. Somehow it always just sort of comes together by the time I get there, though I'm constantly surprised by it. I guess maybe it helps that I don't put too much pressure on it. I just let all the details simmer in the back of my mind until some ideas come up that just seem to naturally flow out of the story. Of course they need to be fixed up later and then I deal with the same problems and insecurities as you but I find them easier to deal with when I have something concrete down that I can tinker with rather than when I'm trying to make myself do the initial work.

Date: 2015-02-10 08:47 pm (UTC)
sarillia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sarillia
I have no idea what's normal. Writing is one of those things where it seems like no matter what your method is, you're probably worried you're doing it wrong because there's so much conflicting information and advice. As far as I can tell, you just have to figure out what works for you and try to ignore the people insisting there's a Right Way.

Date: 2015-02-10 09:14 pm (UTC)
splinteredstar: (Default)
From: [personal profile] splinteredstar
Yeah, seriously. I have read a dozen "advice for writers" books and maybe gotten three useful bits of information, and a great deal of "well you're clearly doing that wrong".

Date: 2015-02-13 10:02 pm (UTC)
wordstitch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wordstitch
I've experienced all these problems before!!

XD I don't have any real answers, though. I tend to be really bad at finishing stuff unless it's a gift or an exchange/fest fic. But for those, I find that keeping bits of information about the fic as they occur to me in bite-sized pieces and then looking at them once I get halfway through or almost to the end can help me see the full view of things. You can do index cards, or an index card app--I know there's one of those around somewhere. I use Evernote, which I highly recommend if you're looking for something free and mobile-friendly. I create a tag for a story in my writing notebook, and then when I feel I need to check on all the things I had thought of while researching or whatever, I pull up that tag, then delete all the bits I've already used (or de-tag them). That way I have only the bits that I haven't used yet remaining, and decide whether they fit anywhere or not.

*laugh* Not sure that was a help at all, sorry! I'm just rambling away.

Date: 2015-02-21 07:22 am (UTC)
ljlee: where I work & play (workspace)
From: [personal profile] ljlee
I use Evernote for all my notetaking needs, too. I like the index card view in Scrivener, too. OTOH Scrivener is definitely meant for a desktop environment and has adapted poorly to the mobile age, where Evernote excels.

You're in good company with the index-cards approach: No less a master than Vladimir Nabokov used them, in analogue form obviously.


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