Endings Shmedings

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Monkey-typingSo I’ve decided that you can absolutely, totally, 100% write a cozy mystery without actually solving the mystery. I mean, who’s going to notice, right? You just stick a good wrap-up at the end about the fragility of life, let the characters contemplate the meaning of death, and BOOM!

Finished book.

What’s that, hypothetical reader? No, you can’t? Well, you don’t have to be so emphatic about it.

I am, what we call in the writing game, “stuck.” I was stuck with this manuscript before, which is why I put it aside in the first place. Here I am, almost to the end of my words, and I can see how I found myself in this spot.

But I’m still not sure how to fix it.

I’m missing something. There are usually clues my subconscious leaves for me in the first-draft process. And I’m short a breadcrumb. Or twelve.

I’m not delusional (mostly). I don’t expect a lot out of a first draft. But it’s got to have a mostly-finished plot.

Unless I want to create some kind of deconstructed literature, though that might be a tough sell as a sequel to a cozy. Any takers?

What’s that hypothetical reader? Sheesh, you’re really in a mood today.

Maybe what I need is one of those transparent boards they work on during montages in television shows, so I can draw a lot of lines and squiggles and arrows, until, eureka! I have it.

Maybe if I shake the manuscript, the end will fall out.

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10 thoughts on “Endings Shmedings

  1. Sorry to hear you are struggling. I always take a nap and then either as I’m falling asleep or just waking up, the answers come. Wish it was that easy with writing but I doubt it. That’s why I have never undertaken that particular challenge. 🙂 Best of luck

  2. wildchild47

    Maybe if I shake the manuscript, the end will fall out.

    I think I like that idea very much. 😉

    Actually, now that you’ve been revisiting with it – perhaps if you “let go” – and leave it somewhere obvious but not too obvious, and just get on with other things, like dancing wildly to a groovy tune, or playing with glue or sucking back on some cookies or scribbling away on some other pieces that are just “nonsense” writing, then maybe over the next few days, the solution you need will come to you. It sounds like you’ve hit the same wall and are carrying around the same frustrations as before – so maybe just ask it to come to you instead of getting caught in the net?

    • All really great suggestions! I do feel like the knot is loosening a bit…I need to revisit my characters and get to know them better. I think that 75% of plotting issues (extremely scientific as I just made it up) come back to character.

      I definitely want to try the cookie idea! Did the dancing thing yesterday with Zumba 🙂

  3. Red

    I’m thinking of my favorite Agatha Christie mysteries. Maybe… figure out HOW you want it to end (whodunit, etc.) and then readjust the middle to lead there?

    I’m not a fiction writer. I have no idea about creating cohesive plots. But I imagine this would be what I would try, if I couldn’t wrap it up front to back.

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