Monday, September 19, 2011

Beginning of the End

While speaking to a group I was asked how I knew when I was finished with a novel -- the happily ever after part on the last page. The last two words that read: The End.

First of all, I told her that the story is over when all the conflicts have been resolved. Unless, of course, the intent is to leave some loose ends so that there could be a sequel. Or maybe the author plans a series. No doubt there are other reasons; just ask other writers you may know.

She then asked me if I knew how the story was going to end. I told her I had a general idea how it would end but that it was subject to change -- or changes -- as I progressed through the  story. I said that novelists approach stories in different ways.

For me, I usually work the story in my head for several weeks, perhaps even months, before I put down a rough draft on paper. I get to know the characters, but I get to know them even better during the course of writing the novel. I know where I want the novel to end, but sub-plots enter into the equation and take the story in different directions until I reach the end.

Until the next time...

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