Writing the Final Chapter

Posted: August 6, 2014 in Writing
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I’ve always wondered what “bittersweet” felt like.   The flavor I understand: dark chocolate, blackberries, red wine.  Necco Wafers.  Acquired tastes, but for some people sort of irresistible.

But what about the emotion?  I had never ever felt the emotion of “bittersweet.”  Until now.

My daughter and I have been laboring on our novel for slightly more than a year, and as of this moment we are working on the very last chapter.  The denouement.  The end.

On one hand it’s very sweet, because we are finally tying up loose ends and putting a period ‒ or in some cases an exclamation point or a question mark ‒ on the characters.  It means we can move on to the next phase: polish the manuscript and send it out to beta readers.

But on the other hand there is some bitterness, too.  Naturally, we’ve become very attached to these characters and this story, and now that all of the foreshadowing has been given light and all of the mysteries have been solved, we kind of miss the feeling of “what’s next.”

Except, of course, that we have sequels in mind.  Several, in fact. The very act of planning and writing this novel has built new mental muscle and given us new reflexes that make creating the framework for a good story second nature.  And we’re sticking to our regimen and keeping those muscles loose and flexible.  It’s truly like what you’ve heard about going to the gym; when you’re doing it right you sort of get addicted.

Like I said, it’s an acquired taste but for some people finishing a novel and starting the next one is sort of irresistible.



  1. Congratulations on getting this far. It sounds like you took a lot of care over the first draft, whereas I tend to whack out a first draft as quickly as possible – which means I then need to do a second before its fit for anyone else to see. One way we are alike though – like you, I tend to get more ideas and inspiration when I’m actually writing – the exercising analogy is a good one. I can’t just sit there and think of ideas from nothing – my ideas tend to follow from others.


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