The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I went back and tried to fix a couple of spots that weren't working (characters' action weren't quite believable; I didn't change their actions but thought the scenes through again and tried to make their motivations clearer to the reader). But now I pretty much have to try to work on that very last chapter. The tying-it-all-up chapter. Ugh. I thought about not doing it at all, just ending the ms and letting whoever reads it know that I'll write that later, if the book sells. The last chapter has little to do with the story, IMO--it just tells what happened to everybody afterwards. Although now that I think about it, I guess that might be important to me, as a reader. As a writer, though, it's B-O-R-I-N-G. No conflict, no tension, nothing left to discover. Just blah blah blah. It might as well be a grocery list in prose. I find myself thinking about doing laundry or mowing the lawn, rather than working on it. That means the only thing to do is just effin' gut it out. Write my boring grocery list of a last chapter and get it at least sketched in. Blech.

Maybe one way to approach it is to actually make a real list of all the things I know the reader needs to know, at this point. That way I might be able to avoid going off on weird tangents that are more fun than a grocery list.

Hmm, I'm not sure--in this kind of chapter is it best to get the info out and wrap it up quickly, or is it best to play around in scene for a while? Probably some combination of the two.

I'm thinking of that last wrap-up in Jo's Boys, where LM Alcott gets everybody's eventual fates onto the paper as quickly as she can, hating every minute of it and saying outright that she wishes all the characters swallowed by an earthquake. Ha! I don't wish my characters swallowed by an earthquake (I'm not through with them, not by long shot), but I sympathize with having to write a chapter where you just tell what happened after the story is done.

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