The End is Nigh. Brace Yourselves!

Do you remember when the world was apparently ending on 21st December 2012, and how Desperate Dorises raided supermarkets, just in case? Think Armageddon-style Christmas food shopping. Here’s a tip people; the supermarket will be shut for one day, possibly two, but there will be more food. Well, that’s if you selfish gits haven’t bought it all…

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Far be it for me to mock an ancient culture, but the twatwaffle Mayans did get it wrong. At least I think so. Unless I’ve been living in a parallel universe and you’re all dead. That will explain the lack of followers *shrugs, toughs it out, and steers clear of the blog stats*

I’m a little wary of prophesying another ending, albeit on a smaller scale, but it is a big deal in my writery world. Here we go…

The end of my first ever, ever novel is kind of, ish, approaching.

It took a lot of courage to write that. It may seem trivial, but it’s huge in my self-conscious, messed up little head. I’m rubbish with things coming to an end, you see…

I’ve often avoided endings. This can be painfully awkward. For instance, I know to remain seated after a film’s end credits for the extra scene. I am well-versed nowadays in the ‘Marvel Universe’ thanks to the geeky husband. I feel cheated by other films that do not give up the extra goods. Lazy directors.

Even when a film does have the glorious additional scene, I’m still not satisfied it’s truly over. I linger a little longer, just in case. My local cinema will be giving me the keys to lock up soon.I defy the convention that the customer is always right. Nope. They are often weirdos.

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To the non-Brits; this is Basil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers. He sums up the grumpiness of Brits in a beautiful cantankerous nutshell.  We are proud of our crap customer service. We never tell our customers to, ‘Have a nice day’. We don’t like them enough. Instead we mutter under our breath for them to die a slow and painful death, preferably after they leave.

I can partly understand my aversion to endings in how I have experienced some truly awful ones. I know we have all endured some bad endings. Maybe I’m just a fragile flower. I’m just not good with endings – good or bad.

Happy endings can be the dog’s doodahs, although I strongly advise that you never ask for one when visiting a massage parlour; it won’t be the Disney fairy tale ending you visualised, believe me…

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Caution if you Google this, especially if your nan is in the room and you’d like her to continue living…

I started writing my first ever, ever novel in March, just after my wedding. Most brides will relate to how the ending after the wedding is an anti-climax. It feels like you’re in mourning. You grieve researching weddings like a boss, wedding magazines subscriptions, the making of all the endless decorations… For months my wedding defined me. I loved it and I disliked it. Near the end, and my husband will agree, we just wanted to elope. Thankfully it was the best day of my life, so far.

Still, I grieved the ending. For about a week. Then I realised that actually sleeping at night,not having endless dress fittings where I display my arse to strangers, being able to eat chocolate in abundance, and never spray painting another table decoration ever again, are beautiful things.

When the wedding was over, it was time for a new project and to find my purpose. I started writing. I pooled together my old journals for inspiration, made notes and then started tap, tap, tapping away.

Since the humble beginnings, I have made some patchy and accomplished progress. I have ridden the writery  roller coaster There have been days when I loved every word. I felt I could really do this.

Then there were the doubting days. I cringed as I typed the only words that would come to mind. I lost faith in my ability to write. I cried. I ate chocolate and cheese (although this is no clear indicator of my misery as it’s a standard day in this house). I felt sometimes that I should give up; no one cares, no one engages with my posts and blogs and no one will want to read my fiction.

Then the morning came and it turned around again to be, oh so incredibly good.

Then the next day came and ‘The Smiths’ were the soundtrack to my life.

Then… You get it…

I’m not quite finished with the novel yet. There is a little way to go. I am making myself accountable to my novel by publicly writing about the impending ending. If I tell you lovely people that I’m nearly done, if anyone cares to ask in the future, I hope to be able to say ‘I finished it’.

Yes, the first draft will be dicey. I have come to understand that NO writer, no matter how famous, ever produces an accomplished first draft. I’d love to see their first drafts though just to give my ego a little boost. Imagine discovering that Thomas Hardy couldn’t use apostrophes until his mum got him a tutor?

It’s difficult writing a first novel because you’re often told it will be your worst piece of writing. I understand that the odds are highly likely. That doesn’t make it helpful to the newbie writer though. If you’re Polly Pessimistic, you could give up before you even begin. I’m no conspiracy theorist but I’m starting to wonder if the ‘Your First Novel is Shit Brigade’ (TM) are fearful of emerging writers. We all know the first draft is tosh. That’s why it’s so much fun. We can write as if no one has ever taught us English. Then we come to the editing stage and wish someone had; properly.

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I have to finish this because I owe it to myself and the novel. If you’re not a writer, let me explain that we are an odd bunch. One of our quirks is inhabiting the world of our fiction; getting to know our characters, manipulating their lives, and being fiercely protective of them. That is why we finish what we write.

I’m intrigued by my ending as much as you are probably not. I’m not 100% certain at this stage exactly how it will end. Initially, I was worried about this. Then I remembered something. I can get the thrill that readers do (when the writing is good) of trying to work out how it will end.

I anticipate it. I’m enjoying the route towards it (most of the time). I am also a little sad that this, one day, will be over.

I feel a responsibility to provide an ending for my potential readers that will stay with them after they have finished reading. I am not naive.I know I will never satisfy every reader with my chosen ending – no writer ever could – so I will choose the one that sits well with me.

Call it your soul, intuition, gut feeling; every step of the way in the writing process I have learned to trust it. Please don’t fail me now inner writery magic with this ending.

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From now on in  I will be mostly gaining finger cramps from furious typing, writer’s bum, snarfing Dairy Milk, trying not to ignore my husband because writery world beckoned, and staving off a nervous breakdown – all in the name of getting to the end.

When this first draft is written I intend to eat, drink and be very paralytic merry.

Then the revision and editing begins. Just don’t attempt to communicate with me at this point. I’ll be wondering why I ever started the thing at all.

Until the next one…

About Lisa Sell

Lisa Sell is a fiction writer and blogger. When not wrestling with words she can be found showing the love for chocolate, cheese, coffee, the cat, and the Husband. Not particularly in that order.

10 comments on “The End is Nigh. Brace Yourselves!

  1. Good luck – you’re on the home straight now!

    As for weddings, the best thing about getting married has been I’ll never have to organise another freaking wedding ever again (hopefully).

    Hurrah!

  2. I love the moment of finishing a first draft! I can promise that the euphoria is there every time, whether it’s your first novel or your fifteenth. Hope you’ve made it there; or if not, you reach it soon! Eat more chocolate (and cheese) to celebrate! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the encouragement! It’s good to hear from fellow writers who understand that feeling. Chocolate and cheese certainly motivated me to finish! I hope your writing endeavours are going well.

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