Writing a blog has been enlightening this past year. It’s interesting to look back and read posts as they correspond with various points in the book. I didn’t have any major issues with this book until the ending. And, while I experienced a miserable few weeks when I thought the entire book had come to a major dead-end, I now believe my plan worked. I can’t help but one more post on my own personal dilemma – to plan the end, or not.
I know the difficult nature of the job my husband does, and I would never deem to compare my fictional-world to the real-world he works in – but for the sake of writing, please allow this to pass: waiting to discover your murderer until the end of the book provides an experience that is more akin to an actual police investigation. I realize there are plenty of authors who plot their entire book and have very successful mystery series for their efforts. Elizabeth George comes to mind – one of my favorites.
But, for what it’s worth, leaving the ending wide open has been my plan of action for the past three books I’ve written. I plot as much of the story as I can, typically about the first third to half of the book. As I begin writing the story, the plot unfurls, bits at a time, and I continue fleshing out the plot outline that I maintain on Excel. The difficulty for me is the end of the book. In my last book, it was my editor, Peter Joseph, who suggested a clever twist at the end that pulled everything together. For my lastest book, it took me up until the very end of the book for me to be able to pull everything together and see the twist on my own. But, it came to me! It’s proof enough that with enough practice and diligence that the lessons can be learned. Nature plays a part, but hard work trumps. Without question.