On Writing WIP WIP

The two greatest words in the English language?

Just a funny anecdote about finishing things and my two favourite words in the English language to type: the end.

Funny story.

Back in November 2020 I passed my word count goal for The Tower Project. Ahh, I said, that’s it. I’m done my novel. I immediately jumped into celebrating, and revising. Then, many months later, I realized — I had never finished at all. I simply completed my goal. The story, well that was something different.

Fast forward to March 2021 when I was due to submit the next chapter of the story to my writing critique group and realized… there was no next chapter. Sure I had written bits and pieces, outlined it several times over, but nothing had ever felt right so I had simply walked away.

Well, no more of that nonsense. I buckled myself in, hit the gas and finished the draft. For real. Here’s the proof:

Word processor screencap with the last line highlighted, reading "the end"

Something kinda magical happened when I typed those two words, the end. I discovered what my novel was about.

Excuse me, what? After 80,000 words you only *just* figured out what your novel is about?

Look, I had lots of ideas about what it was about. Lots of themes rattling around and messages and takeaways. I had a grand idea about what the *meaning* would be, but when you have to distill it down to a page, it solidifies the most important concepts, purifies them to their essence. And if that sounds made up, well it is.

Typing “the end” also did another helpful thing for me, it gave me direction, and excitement, for the revision stage. With a final idea of what the novel is saying as a whole, what the final image is on the last page, I can go back and lay the foundation for that moment. The perfect scene.

I love endings.

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