The end is nigh

The end, however, is not nearly nigh enough. My deadline is in a couple of short weeks, and so I’ll keep this relatively short. I’m working through the end of the draft (leaving myself precious little time to revise before zooming the manuscript off to my editor–but we’ll discuss poor planning another day). The end of this book is more difficult than I planned for. Largely, there’s one major action that has to happen. That’s easy enough, but there are multiple points of view and trading off on those is more tricky.

It’s at this point that I have to sit and think through the question–what is this book really about? Because that’s going to be the thread that I use to guide me through the choices of who sees what and when and who gets to have the ball (or puck or whatever metaphor you want to use) at any given time.

That seems simple enough, except that this book is about several things thematically and it really does have several very main characters who each have to have their story lines wrapped up in a satisfying way, and it has to be satisfying in relation to the other stories. And then too, there’s the larger intrigue that must find some sort of resolution as well.

Ironically, I made myself a pretty good outline when I began, which I knew I’d toss out pretty quickly and I have. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate (to quote that annoying dude in Independence Day). I haven’t tossed it out. The larger events still happen. It’s just the road to them is different and those events may not be where I thought they were on the map (gee willikers, I can’t stick a metaphor for anything, can I? Chalk it up to the slight insanity of a deadline).

I’ll get through it and find the end. A lot of it is like wandering through the dark with your arms outstretched searching for the right path. You might have a few false starts, but eventually you’ll get there, or else there will be something different and better than what you expected, in which case, you may not have located the there you planned for, but you did find a there that will work.

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  1. 1. cindy

    good luck! i think i had to revise 4 times before i
    knew what my ending was. then i revised the
    ending once with crit friend comments. the notion
    of writing under a deadline makes me queasy, tho.

    i am skeered.

  2. 2. Diana Pharaoh Francis

    Cindy: Well, at least the deadline forces a finish. I sometimes think I’d wander aimlessly as a cloud if I didn’t have to hit a deadline. I’m an expert in procrastination at times.

  3. 3. cindy

    diana, ’tis true. i am procrastinating
    now! haha! i think i just need to get used
    to the idea of writing under contract and
    for pay. it’s not for sh*ts and giggles
    any more.

    *gulps*

  4. 4. Marie Brennan

    I sometimes think how much easier my life would be if I didn’t have this penchant for dual protagonists. Multiple povs are one thing; multiple pov characters who ought to be equally important to the end of the story are a much larger problem. Who gets to watch the climax happen? How many times can I swap out viewpoints before my reader throws the book across the room?

  5. 5. Diana Pharaoh Francis

    Marie: Uhuh. Amen. Exactomundo. I’m glad it’s not just me. Now if I could only figure out the maze . . . .

Author Information

Diana Pharaoh Francis

Diana Pharaoh Francis has written the fantasy novel trilogy that includes Path of Fate, Path of Honor and Path of Blood. Path of Fate was nominated for the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award. Recently released was The Turning Tide, third in her Crosspointe Chronicles series (look also for The Cipher and The Black Ship). In October 2009, look for Bitter Night, a contemporary fantasy. Diana teaches in the English Department at the University of Montana Western, and is an avid lover of all things chocolate. Visit site.

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