The-Getting-to-the-Ending-Brain-Hurts Rag

book-the-end-hd-wallpaperRather than work on my book, I thought I’d slip in a little blog post. Anything not to write that ending! Closets need cleaning, don’t they? I think I’ll just have a snack…

I’m in the last chapters of my book, swimming towards an ending I know about, noticing that the writing isn’t as much fun as it was last month, even last week. I suddenly KNOW TOO MUCH, and notice I’m pushing myself towards the ending I think is coming. This is not how I wrote most of the book.

Sure, I’ve always known what the ending was going to be — sorta — but once I’d gotten my inciting incident and the early plot ironed out, I found myself bicycling along with my character experiencing her adventures with surprise, something new around every corner. I was happily allowing her to lead the way, enjoying the weirdnesses that came out of my pen. It was actually FUN.

But now — the ending looms.

Quite honestly, I feel trapped by it. I know where I have to go and I’m dragging towards it, the words stomping out the joy with their relentless march towards their goal.

I used to think I wanted to get to the end. I wanted to arrive at that fabulous last scene, as imagined, then turn around and write the next draft. Now I’m seeing that I don’t want this time to end. It’s been so juicy, so entertaining. (Okay, not all of it, but A LOT of it.) I don’t want to get to the end of the crazy surprises.

At the same time, I’m tired. It would be good to put the book aside for a little while, get some distance. My brain hurts from holding all the pieces of the plot and knowing I’ve a million holes to patch. Maybe I just need a break. If only I didn’t have a deadline. If only I could tear myself away.

My writing buddies listen to me complain. I list my new food addictions and all the re-arranging I’ve done throughout my house and they just laugh. They’ve been there, gained their writing weight, cleaned out their basements, run as far as they could from their endings. They continue to gently remind me I’m not the first to feel this, and assure me I’m exactly where I ought to be in the process. But the tantrums keep coming.

Then I think, let’s get creative, shake things up a bit. I do know how to help myself. Even though it seems counterintuitive, and even though I have a deadline, I could stop writing for a day — gulp — and Go Out and Play. Make something with my hands. Wander in the woods. Sometimes you just have to put down your pen and walk out the door.

P.S. Weeks later, I’ve followed my own advice. The draft is done, surprising me with several unexpected twists and an ending I couldn’t have imagined when I first wrote this blog. I’ll have to remember that…


  1. Carol D. Gray

    “An ending I couldn’t have imagined when I first wrote this blog.” Oh how I love when that happens. Can’t wait to read your book!

  2. Hi Louise, I’m a book editor hoping to reach you with a question about your book Queen of the Night Clubs. I’m hunting down proper contact info for you, but if you see this, would you email or call me? I’d be grateful. Info below.

    Laura Mazer
    Seal Press | 510/809.3831



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