Are you participating in National Novel Writing Month? In this post, we give you tips to help you finish week 4 of NaNo.
The End is near. Literally. You are getting ready to take on the final week of NaNo. In between the typing you should reach up and pat yourself on the back. It is a huge achievement.
Don’t Quit NaNo | Finish Week 4
In my previous post, we broke the novel writing process into quarters. You are currently busy with the third quarter and about to start the fourth. I mentioned that you should try to end on a surprise at the end of each quarter.
The surprise should really raise the stakes for the character or change their story goal. Has your story goal changed at all? It doesn’t have to, but it keeps the tension high. If not, make sure you are adding good conflict to keep your character on their toes.
Download the image here: NaNoWriMo Breakdown
What Happens Now?
The third surprise is the biggest of all the surprises and sets the tone for the end. This surprise leads to the dark night of the soul for the character. This is the scene where all is lost, and we think the character will lose and in the last moment they escape/win/find what they need to take us to the climax.
Read: The Hero’s Journey
There are three types of endings.
- The character wins.
- The character loses.
- We don’t know if they win or lose.
The wins or losses are usually linked to a moral loss or gain.
It helps if you have an idea of what will happen in the end, but that doesn’t mean it can’t change at the last moment.
It’s Still Hard
You are getting ready to write the end. This part of the book is surprisingly hard. You’d think it would get easier, but you have a lot riding on this. It was Mickey Spillane who said, ‘No one reads a book to get to the middle.’ The middle was tough, but the ending is a different kind of hard. The ending is the reward for the reader.
Just like your character is making their last stand so is your critic. Somewhere in the back of your mind you have realised that you might just succeed, and your critic is having a moment. It will try everything to get you to stop. Don’t. Finish your book. You are so close to the end.
The closer you get to the end, the harder your inner critic is going to fight. Just keep brainstorming, the scenes will come. You need to trust your story. Here are some scene ideas.
Scene Ideas (Adapt according to story and genre):
- The monster…
- She wept as…
- Please step out of the line and follow me.
- The alarm blared.
- The number is…
The Last Word
This is it, you made it to the last week. You are so close to the end. Just keep showing up. The ideas will come. Trust your story and trust your characters. We tend to shy away from conflict, but now you have to let ‘em have it – and remember to have fun.
by Mia Botha
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- The Importance Of Paper When You Plan Your Story
- 6 Important Things About Flash Fiction
- Help! My Protagonist Is A Bore