I Want to End it All!

A couple of weeks ago I killed off my villain and thought, “How am I ever going to get another 10,000+ words in before the end?” Now, I’m just shy of 60,000 words, which was my unofficial goal for this project, and I’m still writing. I just can’t seem to make it stop!

After I killed off the villain (which was a bit anti-climactic, actually), the kids talked about it before the cops showed up to arrest the kid that did it. Then the kids talked about it some more until the District Attorney showed up to see whether or not to press charges (they said it was self-defense and told him that the villain was a serial killer). There was a long interview with the D.A. where Carter told him the whole story (I condensed it, of course), and then they moved back to the camp to wait until the D.A. was able to confirm the story.

It just keeps going. To tell you the truth, I’m really not quite sure how I’m going to end it. When I outlined it before I started, I thought maybe I would introduce another person that had gotten super powers, and leave it where they need to deal with him now. But since almost nothing in this story followed that outline, I’m thinking I should go another way.

What I kind of want to do is end it with the kids all going back home, and leave the reader with an idea that things are going to be better in the future, but that doesn’t really feel right, either, probably because some of the characters didn’t really make much progress on a character arc during the story. At least one of them did, but not so much for the others.

I know all of this will get chopped, cut, and stabbed when I do the edits, but the closer I get now to what I need, the less I will have to fix later. So how do I wrap this thing up, once and for all?

I would appreciate any comments or suggestions you might have. You guys have been very helpful as I struggled through this mess over the last three months. Don’t bail on my now!

Wednesday I’ll post another update. Hopefully I will be able to tell you that it is done and that I am now working on planning my next project. See you then!

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4 Comments

Filed under ROW80, The Writing Experience

4 responses to “I Want to End it All!

  1. I don’t know any details of your story beyond this post, but this reminds me, in loose terms, of the film “To Live and Die in LA,” which (spoiler!) killed off its hero before the final confrontation with the villain. Then the hero’s sidekick, who’d been an emotional wreck prior to this, survived by absorbing the traits of the hero, down to his mode of dress and way of relating to the heroine (BTW, in this case “hero,” “villain” and so forth do not do justice to the delicious ambiguity of the film). The point being, the plot continued without the hero, just as your plot needs to continue without its villain; it was able to do so because another character stepped into that void. *How* another character fills that void is, of course, the challenge for the writer.

    Hope this is helpful!

  2. Perhaps it’s not that those 10,000+ words left to go should be at the end, but somewhere else in the bulk of the story? Perhaps there’s some scenes that could go BEFORE the climax that enhances it or makes it a little less anti-climatic? Sometimes, I find that something’s not working as well as it should because it turns out there’s something else that needs to be done before hand…try revisiting what you’ve already written and see if there’s another 10,000 words hidden somewhere within.

  3. Cate Russell-Cole

    Can you throw another twist into the end? That may lead you into new territory that can wrap it up. Good luck!

  4. My process would be playing What If games with myself while in the shower, while doing laundry, while washing dishes, etc. I just churn through a bunch of What Ifs, no matter how wild they seem: What if the villain resurrected? What if we found out the villain had an accomplice? What if the DA didn’t prosecute? I don’t know. I’m just throwing out stuff as examples. Eventually, one idea will sound both interesting and plausible.

    Best wishes figuring it out. It’s kind of nice to hang in there and keep writing when you like the characters and the story.

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