Author Topic: When do you write "The End"?  (Read 1467 times)


When do you write "The End"?
« on: August 13, 2019, 07:54:26 PM »
Say you're really in the zone; the plot's a cracker, the characters hurdle obstacles or fall down and get back up & fail again only better in ways that drive the story forwards and builds tension. The end scene is in your mind, just waiting to explode onto paper/screen. Do you skip ahead and write it? Or set it aside as a treat to be savoured?
Asking because this rarely happens for me & I'm curious as to how you guys deal with the end chapter(s).



Re: When do you write "The End"?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2019, 09:00:09 PM »
Oh, good question.

I suppose it depends if you plot / outline or not and what you mean by the "end".

I do outline / plot, so in some sense I've already written at least part of the big final confrontation and I know where I want to get to with my characters by the end of the story. I tend to write in order for the most part, and make handwritten notes as I go of things to pick up / remember as I get towards the end of the book.

However, I also find there needs to be at least one or two scenes after the final confrontation, so the big final battle, for example, isn't actually the end.  I don't always sketch those final scenes out until I'm almost there, or sometimes just when I get there as they tend to pull together things from earlier in the book.

I do skip ahead sometimes to scenes I really, really want to write - quite often when I'm writing those, something else fires in my brain and gives me some breadcrumbs to seed into previous scenes.

The mysteries of writer brain, eh?!  Grin

Genre: Fantasy
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Re: When do you write "The End"?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 04:24:25 AM »
I'll jump around if the mood strikes. I find it one way to keep the willingness to continue in full gear. Sometimes you hit that spot in your book, somewhere in the vast wasteland that is the second act, and you find yourself struggling to get to the keyboard. The story seems to be dragging, when in fact, it's just hitting that point where things slow down for a bit. One way to keep momentum up is to jump forward and write a scene you've been dying to write.

One of the great things about doing this is as you go back and pick up where you left off, you may find new ideas to add because of the ending you came up with. Then you may write the next scene and realize you need to make a change to the ending that will make it even more incredible.

I don't type The End until after the second or third time through the edit phase. Things may change drastically each time I go through. I find it really hard, for some reason, to make major changes to a novel after I've typed those two little words. I guess it's because once typed, I have the feeling I'm finished and just want to get it out of my hair and off to the editor. Before I type them, everything is fair game.
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Rosie Scott

Re: When do you write "The End"?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 09:48:57 AM »
Out of dozens of books (only 14 published including pen-names), I've only written the ending before I got there once. I always know how a book is going to end and can see the scene in my head, but with Rise of a Necromancer, I knew word for word how I wanted it to end. I'd worked with the characters involved for over a million words at that point since it was a prequel to my finished series. Maybe I just looked forward to writing it for so long that I couldn't wait.

Otherwise, I wait until the end to write it. Many of my endings are either tragic, explosively climactic, or shocking in nature and the emotion better comes through when I wait until the last second to write it so my creativity explodes. Back in 2013 I almost wrote the ending of my New World series beforehand because I was going through health issues that I thought could kill me before I could finish the other books. Thankfully, the health issues were resolved and after imagining the ending for five years, I finally wrote it. I sobbed so hard while writing it I had a nose bleed from both nostrils. Hence, the emotion shone through and that ending to this day is the most devastatingly effective piece of literature I've ever written. I don't think it would have had the same effect had I written it in advance before the story evolved in particular ways to make it so impactful.

Fantasy/sci-fi. Writer of bloody warfare & witty banter. Provoker of questions.
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Re: When do you write "The End"?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 10:37:29 PM »
I've done both. On my last novel, I had a clever idea for the end two-thirds of the way through writing it, so I wrote down a rough version. Once I actually got to the end, that scene didn't fit at all and I never used it. It was fun to write though.  I'm not good at sticking to an outline and one of my favorite books that I've written, I jumped all over in the timeline while writing. Particularly when I'm stuck on a current bit, I might skip ahead to something more motivating, to help me 'fill-in-the-blanks' on a part where I'm stuck. But I've also sometimes saved up a 'big' scene that I'm looking forward to writing as a kind of carrot-and-stick to keep me going. So, I have no rule I guess.
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The Doctor

Re: When do you write "The End"?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2019, 11:40:21 PM »
For my last book, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted, I was halfway through the story, when I jumped ahead to write the last scene.

One of my current wips (dark supernatural, immortal maid of Elizabeth Bathory), I've been writing scenes as they come to me, but I wrote the last scene first.

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Re: When do you write "The End"?
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2019, 02:04:33 AM »
I write the end after everything else is written. :)

I don't like writing the end of the book sooner because once I write it, I'm done with the book and if the book isn't done, well, oops, I have a problem that takes far too much energy to resolve. I end up fighting much too hard to get the rest of it done.

I don't write out of order if I can help it. When I do, I usually end up pulling out my hair trying to get things right. I hate revision to the point that if I couldn't write a complete draft I was happy with the first time through, I'd find another job! I really don't write that way. It just doesn't work for me at all.
Don't rush me.
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Re: When do you write "The End"?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2019, 07:59:37 AM »
I used to jump around and write whatever scene came to me, but then I started really getting back into writing into the dark and I stopped. The scenes never seemed to fit anyway, and I was feeling restricted in what I was writing, trying to make it fit what was already done.

I think everyone has a way to write that's best for them. They should find that way and then do it, not worrying about what others might say (I'm not talking to the OP, just a general thing). There's more than one path up the mountain.
I write various flavors of speculative fiction. This is my main pen name.

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Re: When do you write "The End"?
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2019, 10:32:30 AM »
Sometimes I get to the end and realize there isnít enough middle or the conflict needs to be rearranged or amped or even changed. I did write one recently knowing what the penultimate scene would be but when I finally got to it there were a few more scenes needed after it because it turned out not to be the climax of the main story. Still a great scene, though.
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Re: When do you write "The End"?
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2019, 09:26:46 PM »
Thanks to all who revealed all :) It's fascinating reading!

@LilyBLily - My story did that to me too. Also, maybe because I'd had those last few chapters in mind for so long, descriptions seemed to flow better. So now I'm minded to return to the first clunky intro descriptions & upgrade them. Just when I thought the end was nigh. :/

@Rosie Scott. Your post brought tears of happiness that you battled through and gave your story the ending it deserved. Thank you for sharing.

Thank you all for sharing!

Simon Haynes

Re: When do you write "The End"?
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2019, 09:47:54 PM »
I usually end up writing the last 5000-9000 words in one mad single-day dash, so it's not been a problem for me. I know where I'm headed, and I just get there when it happens.
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Re: When do you write "The End"?
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2019, 10:22:09 PM »
5 - 9 k words a day?! Amazing! I'd be really happy with a tenth of 9k.

Your fingertips must be scorching - or do you used a speech to text programme?

Simon Haynes

Re: When do you write "The End"?
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2019, 11:19:56 PM »
That's not every day, naturally. Just when I approach the end and want to get it finished.

I type pretty quickly. Bursts of up to 100WPM according to yWriter, but I think it's more the plugging away for 2-3 hours non-stop that does it.
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Re: When do you write "The End"?
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2019, 03:21:55 AM »
I've written the final scene in 4 books, but never written the words the end on them. I don't think you should write it until the story is complete.


Re: When do you write "The End"?
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2019, 04:43:30 AM »
I've just written 'The End' on the 19th in my mystery series about half an hour ago. I realised when I looked back a bit that I wrote 12,000 words in 4 days, which was a lot for me, although I often accelerate towards the end.
I almost always write in order and plan it no more than about 3 chapters ahead.
Cecilia Peartree - Woman of Mystery