And she goes

I’ve been just a few days away from finishing the first draft of the great Australian Elvis mangosteen monkey knife-fighting cricket fairy novel for weeks and weeks. What is it with that? I feel like there’s someone up ahead with my ending, who—every time I get close enough to touch it—madly sprints away.

Bloody bastard!1 Stop it!

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to finishing this draft. I have such plans for the rewrites! Rewriting is so much funner. You can’t really get the monkey-knife-fighting scenes right until you’ve gone over them many times adding zeppelins and fireworks.

I’m also a bit cranky cause this was going to be my shortest novel ever, but it keeps growing. Grrr.

Do any of youse ever have the receding-into-the-distance ending problem? What do you do about it?

  1. Just rewatched Bodyline. My favourite bit is when Douglas Jardine (evil captain of the English team) goes to the Australian dressing room to demand an apology for being called a bastard. The captain turns to his men and asks, “Which one of you bastards called this bastard a bastard?” Jardine stalks off in high Pommy dudgeon. Tee hee! []


  1. jonathan on #

    i don’t know if it’s going to be your shortest novel ever, but it sounds like your funnest novel ever. i’ve really enjoyed the ‘reason’ novels, but this sounds like something really cool and special and different. worth the extra wordage.

  2. Diana on #

    My novels always ended exactly where I wanted them to, but sometimes they forced me on little detours along the way, thereby making the trip longer, even if the end is still the end.

    and i’m glad the mangosteens are back in, though you may want to keep an eye out for those zeppelins. it’s apparently contagious.

    best line of the day “high pommy dudgeon.”

  3. cherie priest on #

    Oh ye gawds yes. For example — I first assumed that Wings to the Kingdom would be maybe 95,000 words. I assumed this up until oh, say, the end of its first draft … which turned out to be almost 125,000 words long. I pared it back down to 110 or so (I think?), but that was one of the most frustrating things ever to write. It just. Wouldn’t. END.

  4. Ez on #

    Speaking of cricket, what are your thoughts on 20-20?

    I seem to have the opposite problem – I struggle to get even 70,000 words. And I have Irish blood – I should be a natural gobshite. *waves fist angrily*

    Have a lovely day! 🙂

  5. Delia on #

    Yes, as a matter of fact, I do have a problem with the incredible receding ending. Or at least it’s something that happens to me—I’ve learned, that it’s just the way it is, sometimes, and I might as well just accept it.

    You have to start with more clay than you end up with, after all, to make a statue.

  6. jonathan on #

    ez, i could guess what justine’s pov on 20/20 might be. basically, it’s not cricket. not really. there is one true form of cricket. it involves the wearing of white clothing, takes five days to play, and the ideal platform for the australian team to show everyone else how far they have to go in order to be competitive. the other stuff, as much fun as it might be, ain’t cricket. right?

  7. E. Lockhart on #

    yes, I have that problem.
    the brideshead revisited/focault/skull and bones book would be, I thought 40,000 — at 38,000 I thought — I’m nearly done! but it was 60,000, all of it ending.

  8. Rebecca on #

    for me, it’s not so much the reaching the ending as having an ending in the first place that’s the problem. i hate writing endings, so mostly i have the whole story down except for the ending. it tends to get me in a bit of trouble.

  9. Justine on #

    It’s a mighty solace to me to hear that I’m not the only one! Thanks!

    Ez: I’m not quite as old-school as Jonathan indicates. I tend to fine ODIs a bit boring and predictable. But I’m fond of Twenty20. Especially when it’s between reasonably evenly matched teams. It can be mighty unpredictable. But, yes, test cricket is the very bestest form of cricket. Always was always will be.

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