Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The End: Does Fiction Mirror Life?

Well, I am reaching THE END of the Maass book. I'm edging toward THE END of my own WIP.

*confession: not really, but I like to fantasize that it's finished, fully revised and ready for submission.

Any rate, how do we reach the end of our manuscripts? Fast? Panting to reach the finish line? Wanting to reach it so fast, we can't slow down to fill in the important details? Or slogging away, like a very slow turtle, and not getting there for YEARS?

*confession: I want to be a turtle through the middle of the WIP, but when I get close to the end, I race like the rabbit.

Okay, so what does Maass say about THE END? Well, first of all, it's not the end, it's the resolution. That place where all the final pieces finally come together. Here's the deal: don't cheat yourself as a writer or the person reading your book. After all, the end of this book needs to make the READER FEEL GOOD AND WANT TO READ MORE (kind of like scenes and chapters and hooks argh).

To quote the wonderful literary agent who will probably never know I exist, but whom I'd like to meet (please CPs correct my grammar now)... (ellipse mistake I'm sure)... but first, we must build suspense until the final moment... don't be predictable...

... allow yourself --or, rather, your protagonist--the possibility of failure. Hey, that is is life is it not? There is no guarantee you or I will win. Why should fiction be safer than reality?

Ah, Mr. Maass, why indeed? Why should my writing make life easier for my characters when my own life is so unpredictable?

Me? I prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and I always have an exit strategy........... (major ellipse rule breakage)......


Gwen Hernandez said...

Eh, who cares about ellipses?

It's tough in a romance to make failure an option, because we have to have the HEA, but the MCs could fail at other things. And it should always feel like the relationship won't work out. I read good books all the time that keep me in doubt, even though I know they HAVE to end up with the HEA.

I'm not sure I have this in my MS yet. I'm jealous that you're done with Maass.......it's hard but worthwhile......... ;-)

Christine said...

I am not quite done, but this is just the book. I still need to read and apply the workbook. I was thinking about his advice and you're right, in some ways, we know as romance readers how it will ultimately end up, but the trick is to keep the readers guessing HOW this will happen in spite of all the odds against the couple.

Anonymous said...

I love your confessions. :)

Working through the workbook is such a challenge... at the rate I've slowed down to, you'll catch up in no time. lol.

Christine said...

Martha: I am excited to work through the workbook after I finish the book. But first, the MS--must work through the story and lay it down -- again and again.

Good grief, my WIP sounds like a hussy LOL.