Endings

As you may have guessed from the pain the Muse experienced on Sunday, I’ve been working on the ending for my current book. You wouldn’t think the end would be a problem in a romance novel. After all, in a romance the man and the woman get together. Period. And yes, that’s the case. But the question is how they get together.  (I don’t mean it that way.  Get your minds out of the gutter.  LOL)

In most books, the world falls apart and is remade again, or the world falls apart and isn’t remade. But almost all the time, the world has to fall apart.

In romance, the bit where the world falls apart is called the “black moment”. That’s the instant in the story when you think it’s not going to work out. This time they won’t be able to pull it off. Then, when the characters do manage to knit themselves together, you, as the reader, feel their triumph and their joy after having vicariously experienced their pain.

Part of the writing a romance is figuring out what the black moment should be, and how the characters will get beyond it. Sometimes you think you know what to do.  Then, as you discover who the characters are, you realize you were completely wrong. In HOLD ME, I always knew that Luc’s view of himself would make it difficult for him to embrace a relationship with Katie. But what their black moment would actually be, and how it would be resolved, wasn’t solidified for several drafts.

In the book I’m working on now, the ending was hazier when I started writing. When I finished the first draft, I had three alternate endings roughed out. Between finishing the first draft and starting on the second, I worked on the last two chapters for a whole week. At the end, I thought I had it figured out, but it still bothered me. It wasn’t until I got back to those chapters at the end of the second draft that I finally saw how I really wanted to go.

Now, as I go through the third (and hopefully final) draft, I’ll be able to direct the flow of the story towards the ending. If the story moves towards those moments naturally, then I’ve got it. But one never knows – a draft is a tricky little devil.

The Muse sure hopes we have it. She doesn’t want to be birthin’ no endings again.

 

 

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