As inevitably happens every time, I’m in the final push to finish my next novel and I’m questioning the ending I had in mind.
DAMN IT! Why does this always happen?
Granted, it’s actually a good thing. It makes me really take a hard look at my story and focuses me on creating the best ending possible. But for God’s sakes, it’s annoying.
I know the cause. It’s very obvious. Planning, plan and simple. See, I’m not one of those outliners. I’m a – mostly – fly-by-my-pants writer. I have a beginning in mind, and a pretty good idea of where I want to end up. But everything in between is a mystery. I like it that way. I like the journey of finding out what’s next. Does it mean I sometimes have to backtrack? Sure. But that’s fun to me.
The only time it gets to be a problem is when I approach the end, and realizes the story I’ve written doesn’t match up quite right with the climax I had in mind. And, as I wrote above, I’m at that point right now on book 3.
I really like the story I have to this point. I’ve done a few things differently than I have in the first two Quinn books without sacrificing the Quinn type elements. But now I have to find a way to cap it, to finish it off. I’m on page 375 (times roman, 12 pt), and I usually net out at around 425. But if I continue on, I already know it’s not going to be the best it can be.
I do have a solution to this problem. Something I’ve employed in the past, and will undoubtedly employ again in the future. This week I’ve started my rewriting process. I’ve gone back to the beginning, and I’m tweaking and changing and adding, so that when I reach page 375 again I’ll have a head of steam and a solid idea of how to wrap things up.
Not that I don’t enjoy rewriting. I actually thrive on it. I was just hoping to hit page 425 or thereabouts before I began the process. But I should have known. It’s the same thing that happened to me on THE DECEIVED. It’s the same thing that happened to me on THE CLEANER. And, most likely, the same thing that will happen to me on my next book.
It’s my MO. My character flaw (well, one of many).
I should just embrace it and look forward to the moment I hit that point.
But until I do, I’ll stick with being annoyed.
To outline or not to outline has been talked to death all over the Internet(s). So this is what I want to know: what annoys you about your own writing process?
BONUS INFO: THE CLEANER has been in the top 10 on the Booksellers’ Heatseekers list in the UK for the last three weeks! This, as I understand it, shows the sales ranking of authors who have not appeared in the Top 50 chart since January 1998 (i.e. before the Bookscan figures started.) Thanks to all in the UK who’ve picked up a copy!