A View Obscured (or… looking for my novel’s perfect ending)

We’re driving along – actually hubby is driving; I’m enjoying the view. I grab my camera, aim at a passing landscape, only to have a tree flash past my lens just as I click the shutter. Drat! Thankfully, digital cameras have a ‘delete’ button. No wasted photo, just a wasted opportunity.

Another time while out walking, I have something partially in view but can’t quite seem to get a clear shot of it. A little more this way? No, too many trees. How about from over there? Can’t see it for that building. Sigh. The desired scene is a-l-m-o-s-t visible, but not enough to let me capture it.

My current w.i.p. is challenging me in a similar way. I know vaguely where the story will end, but getting there… getting it right? It’s not happening. I don’t have a clear view from here to there.

This is where plotters have an advantage over pantsers. They have it all figured out before they even start. Me? I do some preliminary planning but I don’t dwell on details before jumping in. I like the adventure of letting the characters lead me. Right now the trouble is, they’ve gone off the beaten path and don’t seem inclined to help me find the way from there to the destination I have in mind.

So, in this final week of March Madness and Seekervile’s Speedbo, I’m peering through the trees, trying to figure out if there’s a logical route or if I have to get extraordinarily creative. Wish me luck!

Do you sometimes have difficulty seeing your goal, or do you know right from the start where it is and how you’re going to reach it?


“We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal,
and then leap in the dark to our success.”

Henry David Thoreau


“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Proverbs 3:6

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13 thoughts on “A View Obscured (or… looking for my novel’s perfect ending)

  1. Kaitlin says:

    My trouble is I plot it, and then realize that the plot isn’t going to work and therefore I need to re-plot it. So I turn into a pantser half way through.

  2. Don’t worry. Your characters will tell you how to end the story, even if not by the end of March Madness. 🙂

  3. Judith Robl says:

    I think we are all hybrids – part plotster, part pantster. Novels are complicated things, with multiple layers of relationship, innuendo, circumstance. Sometimes getting it all together is something akin to pushing a rope. Gotta take another tactic.

  4. Love this. Usually it comes to me in some weird moment of clarity, like it was there all along, I just didn’t see it.

  5. Darlene says:

    I am at the same spot in my WIP. The last 4 chapters are always the hardest. I finished Chapter 16 on Friday and am now stuggling to keep the momentum going. It would help if I din’t have so much other stuff on my mind. (perhaps those are the trees hindering my vision)

  6. joylene says:

    I’m generally in the dark. I have a faint idea about the ending, but in most cases, that changes a few times before I finish the book. In truth I like not knowing. I just wish I was more disciplined when it comes to writing.

  7. I’m with Judith, Carol. I am a little of each and often the ending is still not as clear as I would like it to be. I plod on haplessly for a while and then suddenly I turn a corner and there it is right in front of me. Maybe that is what will happen to you 🙂

  8. I just realized I’m a pantser. I like that term. I do like to start a story and let it carry me where it wants to go. When I get stuck, if I ruminate some, the path clears most of the time though. Direction often comes to me in the bathtub or on the road, when I’m listening to music.

  9. Carol says:

    A warm welcome to new visitors here today. Thank you all for your comments. I think there are as many different methods of writing as there are writers. We have to experiment until we find what works best for us. I envy those who plot carefully and know exactly where their stories are going as soon as they begin to write, but it’s not how I function. I know this ending will eventually reveal itself as I work my way towards it, but I’m impatient… and just a little nervous. I know I’ve felt the same way at this point in every novel but…. 😐

  10. Shari Green says:

    It might’ve been nice if the literal storms we’ve had took out some of the metaphorical trees….

    Maybe when we’re lost in the story-forest, we need to pause and check out compass: our theme, our character arcs, our goals. Just a thought… I hope you find your way to THE END this week! Good luck! 🙂

  11. Ha, goals with endings? You must be kidding. 😛 I, too write and the characters surprise me. Direction would be good, huh?

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