A satisfying ending to a novel is the hardest, or second hardest (an exciting beginning being in contention for hardest), thing to do.
It's even harder when you're trying to conclude a long storyline.
The danger is that it will all be too predictable, or that it will just end, or that it will stretch out past the point of interest. Or too cluttered, or chaotic, or leave too many storylines unresolved.
So I'm pretty happy with the way the ending is shaping up for Tuskers IV. I think it will be a cathartic ending, not too neat, not to messy. I wrote a chapter yesterday that was very satisfying. Nailing a chapter this close to the ending is always a good sign.
There were a lot of characters in the four books, but I believe I've given them all their due, even if it is just a sort of valedictory appearance.
I have a pretty good feeling about the chapter I'm planning to write today, too.
The last two or three chapters are going to be pretty much nothing but action. So that just takes me blocking out the scenes, figuring out the movements, and so on. I have a pretty good notion of what I want to have happen.
I have three basic "armies" if you will. So the question is--do I have one major battle or two?
If I have a first battle, the problem is that I've made those characters antagonists, who later have to band together to fight the Bigger Bad, which I think is basically impossible if they've been killing each other.
So can I get away with going right to the edge of conflict and then not doing it? Would that disappoint reader expectations?
I think I can get away with it because it will be immediately followed by a very big battle, followed by another scene of conflict.
In other words, a scene with conflict but not actual violence, then a full out battle royal, and then another scene with conflict but not violence, resolving the story.
I think, because it is pretty much coming to an ending, that I can have the one battle, where there is pretty much no doubt about who are the bad guys and who are the good guys.
Then a sort of twist to resolve it all that the reader will accept if I've set it up right.
Getting very close to the end. Haven't made any missteps that I can see right now. Just need to keep making sure each of the last three chapters are brought home in a satisfying way.
4 days ago