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.
Well, here it is: the final chapter of the book. It always seems so far away when I start a draft and see that empty folder with a lonely file named “Prologue.” But that’s how it gets done: I just work at it every day until I reach the goal. And before I know it a year has passed and I’m sitting at my desk staring at a folder full of literary goodness.
Man, this is inspirational stuff. I sure hope an uncertain kid stumbles upon this blog someday. He’ll be searching for his purpose in life and then he’ll read this. It’ll probably motivate him to go explore Mars or something. Continue reading →
DVD commentaries can be great for learning story-telling techniques. For instance, the other day I was watching the episode of Aeon Flux titled “The Purge.” On the commentary, Peter Chung was talking about how the character Trevor needed to have an incredibly philosophical conversation about the nature of conscience.
Mr. Chung realized that an abstract conversation would feel out of place if it just happened at a normal locale. So what did he do? He decided to have the entire scene play out on a stage with a studio audience!
Shoot–look at that! Now it makes perfect sense for Trevor to make numerous, long-winded remarks: he’s on TV! Even Aeon’s scant attire becomes appropriate!
Like Chung, I have used a similar method in this chapter–heck, I’ve used it in the whole book up until now. When Pinada talks about his plan and what he’s accomplished he does it in front of an audience. It seems natural to the reader that Pinada would speak as long as he had the crowd’s attention.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a cactus-flavored bunny drink and start reading! Everything that happens here is perfectly normal!
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 →
Remember when I said I only had one more terrible chapter left in the book to revise? Guess what! I was wrong. It’s just like that part in Baten Kaitos: Origins where Sagi and his pals battle Wiseman. The group gathers to face him, thinking that they’ve got him beat.
Then Wiseman surprises them all by holding up the first draft of his novel. The party recoils upon witnessing the raw force of his cheesy plot ideas.
What? It’s not like you’re going to go play the game to prove me wrong. 😉 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:
Oh wow. Once again I am stunned at how much work needs to be done to clean up a chapter. This sucker needs to be razed with a purifying flame and swept from the earth. I think there’s like ONE joke that I want to keep.
I mean this is the FINAL match and I did nothing to capture any feeling of excitement. No air of tension–it’s all ruined by characters making pointless asides. And then all the worst ideas I’ve ever had decide to show up in one place and have a parade. Just–ugh–read it yourself. If you must. This is for learning, remember. Continue reading →
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.