The End

By Lin Stone


The End

Gee, I have always wanted to write a book that started off at the finish line, you know where I mean -- about a year after “and they lived happily ever after.” The way I saw it there really wasn't much chance of happiness lasting much longer than the “ever after” part.
I mean, look at Sleeping Beauty; she's been sleeping for a hundred years. She wakes up and she marries the very first man that pops into view. Did she do a background check on this guy? She doesn't even know if her fair prince can dance. He might step on her glass slippers before she can docie dough out of there. No marriage counselor, no nothing back in those days. Nah, Sleeping Beauty won't last much longer than the next Guillotine Ball.
I rewrite books for a living now. I don't make a very good living at it, but then authors are as poor a group of people as you can imagine. If one of them is smart enough to realize s/he needs a rewrite s/he hasn't got a nickel to rub against a potato chip. Anyway, I rewrite books.

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Your typical book that needs rewriting will take off from the starting line with a scorch of rubber. Most of them make it all the way across the middle line with similar quality.
It's those last 3 chapters that would-be-authors let the quality of their manuscript take a serious nose dive. I know what happens. By the time they get to the last 3 chapters your author is tired, unhappy and frustrated.
“The Olympics are on, do I have time to write a happy ending? Nah, let's kill this guy off and turn on the television.  This book ain't going to sell no how.”

Well, there are three places where it is crucial that you do your best writing. The beginning, and the end. “Where's the third place?” Anywhere in between.
But it runs, beginning, end, and in between, in that order of importance. In the beginning you probably know to start off with the threat of battle to get YOU started. Then you come back and rewrite the beginning to link it up with where you ran out of steam. That's great and that's what you need to do with the end; you need to end it while your creative steam is up, then back up 3 chapters and make it work.

Now you can go fix everything in between.

the end

the author:

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