I just realized something: This might be a good time to talk about story endings! Or rather, MY story endings! Sorry, Animal Farm.
But George Orwell knows I’ve been disappointed by endings before. I wanted to make an ending that’s engaging. But how? I was concerned about this when I wrote the ending for the first book. I mean, the climax is done; the best part is over, right? What’s left to do? Have everyone talk about what they’ve learned? End with a line of pure and utter wisdom?
Yeah, some of that happened. But that doesn’t mean I have to leave all the conflict out. Why not make the aftermath a struggle? So that’s what I did: I had Mean and Dark struggle with the idea of his hidden identity. It was intense; I think they even spilled a soda.
I thought the scene worked so well I actually planned for it this time. Amazing stuff, this “experience.” Now THIS ending has struggles everywhere: King blames Mean for what happened to Parlay; Tome is suspicious about Dark; Darrow has a bit of a rivalry with Tenny.
But every conflict is quickly resolved or smoothed over with humor. I can’t leave the reader with an ominous feeling.
This chapter is filled with hateful dialog, uttered by the antagonist, Pinada. I believe writing such things is helpful to me, though. Yeah, you heard right. See, I get angry at people sometimes. People that have done horrible things. Or maybe they haven’t done anything much at all.
But every time I want to lash out at those people I reign it back. I think: “save it for the books.”
It’s another way for my writing to serve me: I’m able to channel my anger in a positive way, and I’m also able to make a believable villain. I can also observe how evil people are treated through the actions of my characters. It can serve as a reminder to what happens to people that decide to act out on their rage. If I’m in the real world and I ever feel that I’m starting to act like one of these villains, well, I know I need to shut up and walk away or else I’ll get a table dropped on my head. Continue reading →
Whenever I hear writers talk about making their stories there’s something that almost all of them mention: They know how it ends and they think about that part all the time. And that’s how I am, too; I’ve thought about these final chapters WAY more than the others.
And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. If I know my ending is amazing then I’ll do whatever it takes to make the journey to reach it worthwhile. It helped me through all those terrible first draft chapters with Templetine. Every time the situation seemed hopeless I knew I could look toward the ending to keep me on track.
I’ve heard some say that they like writing the ending first. I’m not sure I could ever do that. Sure, it is more fun now that I’m hitting the payoffs to all the character’s story lines. But experiencing the lead-up also puts the ending in perspective.
For as much as I THINK I’ve got the ending figured out, there are always those bits that wait until the entire story is written to emerge. Continue reading →
My site had a malware warning on it the past week. And do you know why? The WordPress theme I was using was being targeted by hackers! Can you believe that? They must have been using “Weaver II” as a stepping stone to infect my Abandonment Party novels!
Well listen up, you hackers! My work WILL be completed! The world NEEDS a story about a giant clay woman that transforms chairs into knives and by gum–I’m going to give it to them!
(Thanks go to my friend Matt for helping me fix my site. And to Kim: try harder next time, I guess!) Continue reading →
This chapter was satisfying to write. I love it when I have no clue how I’m going to fix the mess I’m stuck with and then BAM–it hits me. Well, it wasn’t quite like that this time. More like sitting in my apartment for two days mulling over possible ideas and having them all slowly congeal into something amazing, but whatever! The garbage of the first draft has been transformed into glittering gems! Now the climax can truly begin.
To ease you into the following, thrill-packed chapters I have enclosed a less-exciting picture of five floating continents firing laser beams at the lair of the Dark Brethren:
I got two more downloads on the first Abandonment Party today! That brings the total readers up to twelve. Oh baby, you know what that means: PRICE HIKE!
Let’s see; I have some complex calculations to make. There are millions of people that can read English, right? Then I factor in my book’s supply–being digital it is almost limitless. So, with a rate of demand at two per month, I project that in ten years my novel must be sold at a price of one cent.
Hm, it seems as if a finale is coming up. What should I do about that? Oh–that’s right! I need to spend a chapter reminding everyone of that fact.
Look–it’s a pacing thing, alright? “Calm before the storm” or whatever. Now I don’t want to spoil my own book. I’m not saying that things will get so chaotic later that this will be the last chance for the characters to sit and have normal discussions. That the excitement of later chapters will reach such a critical level that you will be left gasping for breath as you are swept away in a CURRENT OF PURE AMAZEMENT AAAAAAAAAH IT’S GOING TO BE SO THRILLING WHAT AM I DOING STILL TYPING THIS INTRO!?!
In this chapter Dark is set to face off against his friend Mean in the last semi-final match of the “Two Lives to Play” tournament. As I stated before, something bizarre happened as I wrote the first draft on this scene.
You see, in my head I had it all planned: Just before the match Mean would find out that Gamemaster Kello had seen Dark’s face. It would be a tournament rule; to prove his armor wasn’t remote controlled or something. This would make Mean FURIOUS that Dark revealed his identity a stranger, since he’s refused to show his face to his friends–and even to her.
And I thought that would be an awesome conflict. Dark would step in the ring, clueless, and then Mean would just be standing there, silently RAGING. Then boom! The match would start and Mean would just knock Dark to the ground. She’d tear the ring apart with her magical fury, pinning him down with the rubble. Ooooh-it was going to be dramatic! She’d be crushing him and he’d be saying other dramatic things to get her to stop. What an amazing spectacle it would be!
But the unthinkable occurred: What I wanted to happen didn’t happen! Instead, I wrote a friendly match full of sportsmanship and fun. It’s as if the characters themselves subverted my will; acting on their own to shape the story. A hateful battle would go against the friendship I had built, so it just didn’t take place.
I think that forcing a confrontation wouldn’t have worked for the plot anyway. So thanks, imaginary characters! I’ll let you off easy–this time.