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Friday, August 14, 2009

These Boots Were Made For Walking!

But my characters refused to wear them. They just didn't understand why their story had to come to an end. I didn't want to see them go either. I'd lived with them for so long, I couldn't imagine life without them. But I knew all good things must come to an end. After several arguments and much hesitation on my part, we agreed that the novel must have an ending. They worked laboriously with me to tie up all loose ends and cried with me as I wrote the last sentence. Instead of saying good-bye, though, we hugged and said, "Until next time." You see, I promised them a sequel. Even so, bringing my novel to an end was the hardest part of my writing journey so far. The characters, the scenes, the conflicts, the emotions--they all became a part of me. I didn't want to let it go. Am I alone in this? Or have any of you had a hard time ending your story? On a completely unrelated note, it's time for the next recipient of The Silver Shoe of Sincerity Award. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, this award is intended for those who show absolute sincerity in their blog interaction. For more information, visit It's All About Sincerity. I'd like to remind you all that I would love to give it to every single one of you, and eventually, I probably will. But this week's recipient is Heather SINCERE. Oh, ooops, I mean Heather Sunseri, author of Balance With Purpose. She always has a kind word to say, and her posts are encouraging. Go check out her blog! Remember, there is only one rule for this award: if you choose to pass it on, please do so to someone you find to be a sincere blogger. Also, feel free to link it back here. Have a great weekend my fellow character-loving bloggers!

21 comments:

storyqueen said...

When I finish a picture book, I usually just do a happy dance. But when I finish a novel, I cry. I have spent a lot of time with these characters.......sigh. But don't worry, during the revision process, you will get totally sick of your characters and be ready for them to pack it up for a while:)

Shelley

Shelli said...

i always feel sad when my book ends. I think beginnings are tough!

Stephanie Faris said...

Heather's awesome! I have never really had a hard time ending a book. I'm usually too excited about the next book on the horizon. Is that like cheating?

Jungle Mom said...

I have not finished a book yet, but I have often finished reading a good book and felt as if I were losing a friend. In my youth I even took to writing sequels myself just to not lose the characters!

strugglingwriter said...

I have two novels that are close, but have no endings. Not because I'm emotional about it, but because I can't seem to end anything. I think I really like writing beginnings and don't like endings so much.

Strange Fiction said...

I took a break for a few months and had to force myself to go back and finish writing my first. Actually, I still have to revise so I'm not quite finished with it yet. I'm ready to be though. Congrats to Heather!!

Jody Hedlund said...

So, yours was another blog that didn't post in my reader this morning. Hmmm. . .

It is really hard coming to the end of a novel especially when we've grown to love our story and characters! But I also find it incredibly exciting to be able to find that perfect ending that wraps up the plot!

Lazy Writer said...

Storyqueen,
I've been revising for nine months now, and I haven't gotten sick of my characters yet, but I'm sure it will happen.

Shelli,
Yes, beginnings are tough, too. I've been revising mine all morning. I just can't seem to get it right!

Stephanie,
I get excited about the new, too, but it's still hard for me to let go of the old.

Jungle Mom,
It happens when I read a good book, too.

Struggling Writer,
You'll end your two novels eventually, I'm sure.

Strange,
Yes, I'm revising, too. So, really, I'm not quite finished either.

Jody,
There are a lot of blogs that aren't showing up. I wonder what the deal is? I knew something was going on when my phone wasn't lighting up all morning. :) And, yes, finding that perfect ending is so exciting!

jbchicoine said...

I have to admit, even now that my story is ‘finished’, my characters still toy with me a bit, playing on my obsessive nature. Sometimes I think I see them on line at the grocery store, or driving the car I just passed.

I tried to appease them with a sequel, hoping that would satisfy them, but it only made things worse.

Dominique said...

I think the ending is sadder when there is more to come. Your case, where you see the sequel coming, seems to imply that there is more there for your characters.

When I know what the right end is, I just know, and when I've reached that point, I don't feel sad, because I know I've taken my characters as far as they were meant to go.

KM said...

I've never had to say goodbye to any characters (unless I kill them off), because I always have them inside my head, even if I don't want to. Plus, I've got sequels lined up for each of my current WIP's...

But when I finished my first novel in the series, I was ecstatic(sp?). I never thought it would happen. But that's probably because I'm more excited about the second one (which I'm working on now) than the first one. lol

Lily said...

I totally love my main character. There will be no sequel as her story will be told. But she comes from me, and part of me will be in my next leading lady. I look at the next one as a reincarnation of her, only I can explore aspects that wouldn't fit this storyline. I really think my next 'Liz' will be much like this one. Bottom line... I'll still miss her.

Lily said...

PS... My kind of shoes there!

Heather Sunseri said...

Ahhhhh! Thanks, Susan! Some of my blogging and twitter friends may have seen little hints that I've had a somewhat challenging week. This has definitely lifted my spirits at the end of this week. Thank you very much!!! I accept this award from my very "sincere" and encouraging blogging friend. By the way, people are always asking me how to pronounce Sunseri. It is pronounced like sincerely with emphasis on the same syllables.

To answer today's question... I do miss my characters when I'm finished writing. It's a little bitter sweet, I guess. The happy feeling that comes with writing The End usually overrides.

Happy Friday!

Strange Fiction said...

Stop by my blog when you get a chance. There’s something there for you to pick up…

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I seriously doubt you are alone. I'm never sure when anything is done - an essay, a short story, a novel. Seems I could piddle with it forever. When I wrote my first novel, I figured I was done when I went back and changed every sentence that began with It or There to better beginnings.

Karen said...

I've found that writing a first draft in 30 days (NaNoWriMo) just doesn't give me time to get emotional about the ending. I am such a linear thinker that I can't just write for 30 days and call it good when I win the challenge. I have to finish the story arc and complete the draft so that I know what direction I'm headed when I go back to edit.

At least, that's how it was with my most recent WIP. But the interesting thing is that the ending I came up with during NaNoWriMo was not the one I originally thought was going to happen. In fact, I liked it better. But I still didn't get really emotional about it. Maybe when I finish the rewrite.

Glynis said...

I have yet to get to the end of my novel. I think my characters will cheer, as it will mean they are whole, complete and no longer going through changes. :)

Lori said...

The ending is very hard. For me it was grueling. It's the most edited part of the book. And I want to change it again.

FictionGroupie said...

I have so much trouble with endings. Perhaps that is because, like you said, I'm too attached and don't want to let the characters go. However, it is a wonderful feeling to write that final word and know that it's done. (Until I obsessively decide to revise again even after I promised myself I wouldn't).

Anna C. Morrison said...

I warned you about that sequel! That's terrific! Those are the characters that are true friends. :-)