Writing ‘The End’

Posted on 24/07/2012 by


Writing the end of a book is painful for lots of reasons — because you’re letting go of the world you built, because you’re massacring your characters (possibly), because reaching the end of a story automatically raises the question, ‘What next?’.

I spend an awful lot of my time making my characters and their worlds as real as possible and real life doesn’t stop, so I can’t help but think, What happens after that? I think this is why I’m not particularly good at tying books up in a way that lets you stamp HAPPILY EVER AFTER on them.

US Mail stamp with the text 'HAPPILY EVER AFTER' printed on it

Check it out. They actually have ‘happily ever after’ stamps. Who knew?

The first book of Path doesn’t even really end at all. It’s like an anvil shoving you over a cliff.* And book two… it ends, it does, but it more opens things up than closes them down. That’s a product of the story but it’s also me reacting to the idea that ‘the end’ could be that easy to find.

This book is kind of goal-oriented, and it’s one of those situations where everyone focuses so much on just getting there that they don’t stop to consider what will happen if they achieve their goals. So they get there and look around and think, Oh. What now?** And that’s the end. Or the beginning.


* To anyone, at any point, who reads that and asks, But WHY? I want you to remember that when I originally wrote this story all you had to do was turn the page to find out what happens next. I did not do this on purpose.

** I’m pretty sure wondering about the answer to that question is how I wrote most of the third book when I was supposed to be revising the second.

This is also why when I started writing Wizards the idea was for it to stand alone. And it does. It will. I hope. But I think now that one book with these characters will not be enough for me (no one is shocked), so now the idea is that while it stands alone it also makes you want there to be more. And then I get to write them.