Monday, May 21, 2012
The Right Place to Start and End
In the process I moved around scenes, cut entire scenes, wrote new scenes--all in the hopes of finally crafting a first chapter that would make the reader fall in love with my MC and her plight.
Now that I have an editor helping me polish this book, I've come to realize another important point. Where you end, or how quickly you end after the big climax is also important. I did rework the ending a couple of times. Maybe three? Yeah, not nearly as many times as the beginning.
I knew the ending was taking too long, but I had these loose ends to tie up. And I needed to plant the seeds for the next book in the series. Before signing with WiDo, I cut almost 4000 words from the end. If you're not cringing you should be (that's about 14 pages). I finally decided to cut the last chapter in its entirety and it is now one of the first two chapters of Orek: The Search for Knowledge.
Even with that much streamlining I have too many pages after my conflict is resolved. In the words of my wonderful editor, "After ___(spoilers)___, I'm no longer invested."
But completely true.
Here's my questions for you:
1. What makes an ending satisfying for you?
2. Do you have a different criteria for the ending of a first book in a series? (what and why?)
Over the next few days I want to take a look at endings that WORKED. Feel free to send me your favorites at email@example.com.