Tuesday, August 11, 2015

F Is For The Final Page

Jennifer talks about the relief of typing “The End”...

One of the most exciting things about writing your story is getting to “The End.” It means you’ve actually completed your goal. No one ever says, “I’m going to write part of a story that has been clunking around in my head.” Those of us who want or need to write, want to write the entire thing.

But sometimes, things prevent us from reaching our goal. Whether it’s dissatisfaction with what we’ve put on the page, an inability to get what’s in our head onto the page, difficulty in working through the challenges that occur while writing, or just real life getting in the way, reaching “The End” is never easy.

So when we finally get there, it’s a huge relief!

But then the real work starts. I’m not saying writing the story was a piece of cake. It wasn’t. To quote Paula, sometimes it’s like “carving granite with a spoon.” However, once it’s written, it needs to be revised, usually many times.

Revisions mean changes, sometime significant ones, which could be different from how you originally imagined your story to be. Revisions mean listening to other people, who aren’t emotionally invested in the creation of your story, or order to make it the best story it can be. Revisions mean cutting out parts that seem crucial to the writer, but drag the plot down.

Revisions are hard.

So when you get to that last page and you type “The End,” take a deep breath and give yourself a huge pat on the back—call your friends, get someone to take you to dinner, make your kids do extra chores in celebration—it’s a HUGE accomplishment. Let the manuscript sit for a little while and give your brain a break. But then, go back to it, start at the beginning, and revise it.


“The End” isn’t the end until you can’t make it better.

11 comments:

  1. Great post!

    The first time I typed 'The End,' I'd just had an ah-ha about the heroine's inner journey. I'd not known it until the next to last chapter, when an important secondary revealed--to me and her (spoiler alert) --that he actually was her father and why that was kept secret. I knew right then that I would need to revise the story.

    In my time travel, 'the end' meant the beginning of self-doubt that any publisher would accept an unconventionally structured plot. This lead to my self-directed study of indie-publishing.

    Unless an editor or agent comes knocking, I will self-publish both stories as soon as they are ready.

    The End means more work, but as I get more confident, I get more excited and optimistic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ana, I'd so admire anyone who takes on the self-publishing challenge. There's no way I could ever tackle it myself. Good luck to you!

      Delete
    2. I agree with Debra about self-publishing. I've heard of people having so many problems with the formatting or uploading, and of course there can be a huge cost involved in getting professional editing, and a professional cover. I'd rather let someone else do all the technical stuff for me!

      Delete
    3. I'm so glad I'll finally get to see your stories in print!

      Delete
  2. I always breathe a sigh of relief when I finally get to the end of a first draft. After that, the really enjoyable part begins, of revising, polishing, tweaking etc etc etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See, I prefer the writing to the editing. :)

      Delete
  3. I couldn't have put it any better myself, Jennifer. Giving a sigh of relief after the first draft never means it's the end. There is so much re-writing and polishing to do, and it usually takes as long as writing the story itself, if not longer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely, Margaret. Plus there's the whole, "Oh my gosh, someone actually has to SEE this thing" part of it!

      Delete
  4. Your post is perfect in its timing! I just typed a figurative 'the end' last night on a story. Now that I'm back from the beach celebrating with my Sis for her birthday, I'm heading into revision/editing mode.

    Each stage of the writing process calls for celebration, that's for sure! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Good for you! Welcome back and enjoy the rewrites. :)

      Delete
  5. I like that thought, Debra. Celebrating the completion of each stage.

    ReplyDelete