Endings suck


I’ve been in the process of writing the end of my novel for… well, months now. My wordcount goal for the book is 90,000-100,000 words, and at the moment I’m just around 91k. I’m so close to the end here, but writing it is like that paradox where each step you take halves the distance left to go—you’ll never reach the end, because the distance left can always be divided in half.

That’s an overdramatic way of saying that endings are hard. Beginnings have an infinite amount of potential, but by the time you’ve reached the end, every thread of the story has to be tied up neatly. That’s why this is the point in the process where you start having all sorts of ideas for new stories: your brain is making a frantic effort to avoid the hard thinking. Whenever I try thinking of the ending of this story, my brain starts whispering but wouldn’t it be so much easier to just play Minecraft? Yes, brain, yes it would. That’s a fantastic idea.

I took the above picture on a drive down to Newport with Rob and William for a write-in at Empire Tea last week. Rob has a highly admirable work ethic, and has been powering through a rewrite of his sci fi epic over the last few months while I’ve been tootling around with my novel. It’s very inspiring, and in fact whenever I meet up with him for a few hours of writing, I do get a lot done. If only I could hire him to sit full time in my office, typing away industriously, to guilt me into getting more done. He’d look at me disapprovingly whenever I fired up Minecraft.

My current goal is to get the draft done by April 1. That’s 8 days, not counting today, to write the last 8,000 or so words. Doable? We’ll see.


Book rec: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer


I’ve been recommending Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles to everyone who ranges within earshot of me for the past week or so. My friend William loaned me Cinder because she thought I might be interested in a book written during Nanowrimo. It was on my ‘to be read’ pile for a month or so before I picked it up–and then was completely unable to put it down. I bought Scarlet for my Kindle before I’d finished Cinder, and then bought Cress the same afternoon.

Cinder is a YA science fiction series that retells the story of Cinderella, where Cinder is a cyborg mechanic living in plague-ridden New Beijing. The fairy tale is really only a framework; the real story is a combination thriller/mystery with a touch of romance. Scarlet and Cress add on to the story arc with retellings of Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel, respectively. Meyer is an extremely competent writer who balances a diverse cast of likeable, well-written characters with an exciting plot. This is the kind of book that feels like a guilty pleasure to read. And yes, all three of the books were written during three separate Nanowrimos.

My only complaint is that I thought the series was a trilogy, and was 90% done with Cress when I realized that there was no way the story was going to end anytime soon. The next book, Winter, comes out in 2015. I’m a little disappointed that I binge read them all before I found that out, though I guess that only means I’ll have to re-read the lot of them next year in preparation. It’s not exactly a hardship.

You can find Cinder on Amazon here.