…especially middle endings.
I’ve been trying to get back into Embers, but I left off in a weird place, just before the end of Part One. Partly it was because of the steam of NaNoWriMo2015 drying up; partly because I switched my attention to finish Curve of the Corridor (aka Space Crazies: The Recrazening) before the end of the year, and finally, because I hate endings.
Not even just “writing endings”. I have a number of RPGs over my life with boss fights still to go, because, once I recognize that I’m at the “final boss fight” location, I tend to lose interest. There are more than a few TV series with unwatched finales or last seasons. I just get–bored? restless? gassy? It’s gas, isn’t it Marge–around the 3/4 mark. I don’t know whether that’s boredom with the piece or a desire to leave a little behind, like the last cookie, so that it’s not DONE, there’s still more in the tin.
I am fully aware this is just me.
But it does tend to translate to a weird gap in my writing process where things are going very very well until the 3/4 (or 4/5 point, I have numbers but haven’t crunched them yet) wherein my brain suddenly decides “nope” and I veer off course for a couple of months.
After the couple of months pass–writing short stories, too tired to write, having anxiety attacks, staring at a blank screen, the kitchen suddenly needing a spring cleaning–I will get the itch to get back into the story. I’ll sit down at the computer and re-read the last chunk to bring me up to speed, and then NOPE I gotta go do something else instead. Repeat until something external comes into play.
For instance, I had left the draft 0 of Creampuffs hanging for several weeks with literally only 2-3 scenes to go until I was talking to a colleague and he casually mentioned that he’d finished his second novel. He’d finished his first around the same time I finished Ashes; we’d celebrated together. And now he’d done another.
Turns out that there’s nothing like a little competition to dispel any lingering NOPE. I locked myself in my workroom, chugged a Monster drink, and wrote like a speed demon until I reached The End. Over 5K in a sitting. Only the second or third time I’d ever done that.
Or the deadman switch that Cutie suggested to finish the editing.
Embers is currently 1-2 scenes away from the end of Part One (and where I will split the book if it ever comes to that). It may not be THE End but it’s certainly AN End, and it’s enough to engage the NOPE subroutine. So even though I sat down in April to get it done it’s still… not… going… anywhere. Unfortunately I don’t know anyone else finishing a novel (I was hoping to run into someone doing so at Ad Astra, but no luck) so that won’t work this time. I’m trying to chip away at the scene, but as you can tell by the first blog post in a couple of weeks, the procrastination continues unabated.