Have you seen my ending?

I’ve done a post like this before, but it needs to be repeated. Every writer has run out of steam once in awhile. And not just between projects either, but in the middle of them. The beginning is pretty easy. It’s all excitement and explosions. The characters are new and shiny, with parfait layers all ready to explore. (I don’t like onions.)

And then, the middle comes. The story is bogged down. The characters refuse to have the revelations you planned for them. The plot feels worn out and begins to look like something you’ve seen everywhere. It’s trite, it’s overdone, and you suddenly hate these characters and want to move on to the shiny, exciting, explosive ideas that are suddenly burning a hole in your brain.

Well, don’t. Jot the ideas on a piece of paper, put them away, then slog through that novel. If at the end, you don’t see anything worth saving, then you can lock it away, too, but in getting to the end, you’ll learn something about how and what to write. And maybe that novel will work itself out, and you’ll have a revelation of your own. The reason your character wouldn’t go forward is because he never forgave his father for failing him as a child and….. These sorts of realizations will begin to tumble out, and you might have to move some of it back to that boring middle to spice it up a bit, but you will begin to hurtle toward the end like a freight train.

Easier said than done? Perhaps. You might need more than just willpower. All right, how about some inspiration. If you get yourself over this hurdle, if you push for the end, you’ll know that you can’t be trapped by this. You’ll know you can finish something. You will be among the few, the proud, the people who have finished.

And if that doesn’t work, if you still find that you aren’t motivated to continue, then maybe you need to go a completely different direction with the plot. Just change lanes right there in the middle and fix the beginning later. Do something exciting out of the blue. Kill all your characters in a big revenge scene and then resurrect them. That should vent some of your frustration. Force an epiphany or two and then work backward later. Just push. Remember, you don’t get in sight of the finish line only to turn around and start the race over from the beginning. Run for it.


8 thoughts on “Have you seen my ending?

  1. Good points about slogging through. I call it wading through the murky middle, and it truly sucks. Usually somewhere in the never-ending murk, the end comes to me. I’ll power through it to get to that “perfect” ending. Then it’s time to pave over all those potholes you created to get to the end so fast.
    So is the creative cycle.
    Good luck getting to your story end.

  2. Some good advice here. If the middle of the story slows down, fight through to the end anyway and fix it later and if that is impossible then it is time for some serious rewriting and taking the story in a new direction.
    Thanks so much for sharing this.

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