Monday, June 9, 2014

Finding an Ending to a Book

I'm approaching the end of Ghostlander.  I'm at 60K words, and my guess is it will be a little over 70K words, which seems to be about the size of most stories I tell.

Anyway, in all three Lander books I've had to find "solutions" to the problems presented in the plot.  Basically, actions the characters can take to resolve the problems.  There are some mechanistic aspects to this.  The solution can't be pulled like a rabbit out of a hat.  It has to make sense and it had to satisfying.

Ultimately, every book needs a nice cathartic ending, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually.

What was nice about Led to the Slaughter was that I didn't have to come up with a mechanistic ending.  I just needed to characters to endure.

Same thing with The Dead Spend No Gold.  So the story arc is more emotional than material.  Maybe because it is true history and we know there were no resolutions to many of the problems presented -- life went on.

With the Lander series, I had to come up mechanistic solutions.  How to close the Portals to Cthuhlu, in Faerylander; how to end the hybrid vorewolf infestation in the Wolflander; and how to close off the entrances to Hell and save those who are haunted in Ghostlander.

So that is a lot more tricky in some ways.  I tend to have more chapters where the characters are sitting around talking and planning.  I try to skip these whenever possible, but sometimes they can't be avoided.

Meanwhile, The Vampire Evolution Trilogy was somewhere in-between the two types of endings.  The plots and the resolutions were dictated by the moral and ethical choices of the characters.  But I also had to explain the 'mechanics,' if you will, of the process.

I'm already looking forward to writing the third Virginia Reed novel, after Led to the Slaughter and The Dead Spend No Gold. 

For me to write a satisfying story (at least for myself) I need simply get my head into the main character, Virginia, who is strong and interesting to me, and see where it leads.  Let her continue to grow and learn.

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