Sunday, November 15, 2009

Finding an End

Wilfred Bereswill

On Thursday, Joyce blogged about being stuck on a scene.  Well for the past two weeks I've been stuck on THE scene.  In my opinion, one of the most important scene... The ending.

You see, I know how the book ends.  I've known how it will end since I began writing it a year ago.  But like all good trips and books, it's the journey.  I want the last 50 pages or so to be the kind that you have to read in one sitting.  While I'm biased, I think I achieved that with my first story.  But this one isn't there yet.   And I've been stuck there for a couple of weeks.  Roughly 5,000 words to go, I know where it's going and I have a route planned.  Just not the most scenic.

Part of me says, "Just write the damn thing and rewrite it."  Part of me doesn't want to waste the time of writing something that I know won't stick.  You see, unlike some writers, I don't have a lot of time to write.  I need to make the best of it.

So what do you think?  Write and rewrite, or wait until I stumble upon the right path?

On a personal note, I'll be having somebody coming at my lower jaw with a screw gun.  Of course the oral surgeon used much more technical terms during the consult, but in essence, on Wednesday while only under a general anesthetic (Novocain) the doctor will yank a lower front tooth and bury a titanium screw into my jawbone.  Hopefully no bone grafting will be required and I'll walk out a couple of hours later with a temporary cap attached to the titanium in my jaw.  Okay, the technical term is called an implant, but that just doesn't do the whole thing justice.

And of course, dental insurance doesn't really cover the procedure, so I'll be upwards of $4,000 poorer. Seems like a high price to pay for a lot of pain and a few grams of titanium.  Anyway, wish me luck and know that on Wednesday morning I'd rather pay any one of you $4,000 to trade places with me.


Gina said...

Yikes, Will. Other animals have to be tranquilized to have dental work. We humans sit there obediently with our mouths hanging open and pay for it!

I just wrote the end of my WIP yesterday morning. I knew how it ended, it was just getting there through a series of events that had to mesh together and flow and make sense that had me stumped. Sound familiar? It's been coming in dribs and drabs for awhile now, but when the ideas finally came together and I got the words up on the screen, euphoria!

ramona said...

Will, maybe you should try an "And Then" exercise. In longhand (harder to edit, so you just keep going), write where the protagonist is at the start of the problem scene, i.e. "Heathcliff stood at the edge of the cliff." Everything to follow begins with "and then." It's not publishable, but it takes you through the action of the scene step by step and might unlock you from the starting point.

PatRemick said...

I'd suggest that you plunge in and keep in mind that your mega advance will help pay for that dental work!
Good luck with both!

Joyce said...

I guess I shouldn't mention the movie "Marathon Man" where Laurence Olivier plays a Nazi and he's drilling Dustin Hoffman's tooth...

I like Ramona's idea. It'll give you the bare bones of the last few scenes and then you should know exactly what to do.

Then again, if you just start writing it, maybe the right words will come. Sometimes all it takes is to get those first few sentences down.

Joyce said...

And Gina, congratulations on the WIP!

Annette said...

Will, as someone who has been the dental victim--er--patient of several gum grafts, I sympathize. I hate paying large sums of money to be put in extreme agony.

Good luck with the ending. Maybe some really good stuff will come to you while you're under the influence of painkillers. ;-)

Jennie Bentley said...

Oh God, Freddy, you and me both! On the ending AND the tooth nightmare. I've had three root canals with crowns over the past year, two of which were horrendous. There's one more to go, and I'm putting off the procedure as long as I can. I hate the idea of paying for it - yes, it'll be 4 grand by the time it's done, since there's a chance I'll need two root canals/crowns in one fell swoop - and I just don't want any more pain.

As far as the ending goes, I've been hitting my head against the wall for about three weeks. I'm not gonna call it writers block, because I don't think writers block exists, but I haven't wanted to write. I've had 10K to go and just no motivation to go ahead and do it. Like you, I need it to be exciting, I need the words just to come pouring out, and I wasn't there. What helped me was sitting down with someone and talking about it. Bouncing ideas back and forth. Actual human interaction, which we writers don't always get enough of. You may want to try it.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Thank you all. As you can see, there are as many ways to write as there are writers.

In this case, while I'm not big on critique groups, I think what I need is an idea group.

A little background on the dental work. This tooth had a root canal and cap many years ago. The cap is starting to wear down,so last year at this time when I knew Inbev would sya Adios Amigo, I went to use the rest of my dental benefits and get the cap replaced. Of course, nothing is easy and there was an infection at the root. So instead of a cap, I used my benefits to have the root canal re-treated. That was 11 months ago. While I was in Los Angeles and again in Miami, my tooth strated to throb and got real sensative. Went back to the specialist to find that the root had split. Now it's adios tooth. Hello implant or bridge. Even though the insurance will pay for a bridge and not the implant, I've decided on the implant. Of course the insurance would rather me run around with a gap in my teeth.

Personally I don't think the pain will be as bad as holding my mouth open for 2 hours.

Dana King said...

I'm a big believer in having a general plan, throwing some words on the screen, then editing the hell out of it. Sometimes it's easier to see what doesn't work on the page, which also help find the better way. I can't begin to remember how many times I've sat editing something and the answer I'd looked for was obvious as soon as i saw that what I'd written so far wasn't it.

Michele Emrath said...

Horrifying pictures aside, I think you need some time away from it. I have yet to get to the end of a WIP, so I may not be the best advice-giver for this particular problem. But this is what I would do. Step away. And it sounds like you have the perfect excuse to do so.

Best of luck to you!


Wilfred Bereswill said...

Thanks, Michelle and Dana. Both of you hit the ends of the spectrum that I'm flirting with. I'll see what a drug induced state does for me on Wednesday. I've got my perscription for Tylenol 3 (The Codine version).

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Oh, and Michele, by coincidence I've been on the phone all morning with different people in Raleigh. Turns out I'll be visiting there in early December. I'm hoping for some good weather.