It's been about two months since I've updated on my progress of my latest novel, Game On. It's hard to talk about it when I don't exactly how the story is going to end, or when I'll actually wrap it up.
Endings make the story. Endings are the story; everything that happens is designed that way, solely to lead up to the end. The reader's satisfaction depends on how the story wraps up. Has this ever happened to you: you're reading a story or watching a movie, and everything's rolling on just fine, until you get to the ending and bam! The whole plot is ruined by a crappy ending, and instead of a feeling of resolve, you only feel disappointment.
That's why endings are so hard for a writer. Beginnings are the fun part; you get to create a whole new world! Middles are the interesting part, because you get to know your characters and investigate their lives and personalities. But endings... Sometimes, I feel like I don't write the endings. They happen entirely on their own.
I know that I'm getting close to the end. Right now, I'm working on Chapter 29, and the story should only run a few more chapters after that. The exact events yet to occur still aren't crystal clear, but I at least have a vague idea. But that's the way that story writing works for me: I have a general sense of what should and will happen (or what I want to happen, because sometimes those are very different things!), but it's not until I actually put the words on the computer screen that the details and specifics emerge.
My favorite stories don't wrap up every tiny detail in a pretty bow. I like some open-endedness. That lets my imagination fill in some of the blanks. The stories that I'm drawn to are ones that make me think. I try to do the same with the stories that write. Those who have read some of my stories in the past know that I'm not a fan of epilogues, for that very reason. The hardest part about a satisfactory ending, for me, is balancing out the conclusions that get set in stone and the ones that are left open for interpretation.
These are the thoughts that weigh on my mind as I begin the end of Game On.