Today, I wanted to look at a topic that many writers struggle with: finishing their story. Whether it’s a short story, a novel, a play, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes finishing a project can feel insurmountable. So how can you combat that? Well, here are my top 3 tips…First of all, let me say that this doesn’t only apply to just new writers. All writers can have this problem, even if they’ve written 15 novels in the past. They might sit down to write their next project, get partway through, and then not be able to finish it. So, let’s get to it.
Figure out the reason why you’re not finishing the story. Has the story lost its lustre and isn’t as exciting as you hoped? Is it because it’s taking too long to get that whole big idea out of your head? Is it because a shiny new idea has pushed its way into your mind (I call this “The Magpie Effect”…ooh, shiny thing…). Once you’ve identified the reason behind why you’re not finishing, you can start working on the solution. If it’s a case of there not being enough excitement, look through your story and see where you started to get bored. Once there, go in a new direction that excites you more. Is it because it’s taking too long to write? Try and write in short bursts with a timer. This will give you a quick goal, and you’ll have more words down quicker than you think! Is it because of The Magpie Effect? Note down that new idea and tuck it away for later. Re-read your original notes on your current story. Those original notes can contain a lot of your original excitement.
Write the end of the story first. When you have somewhere to shoot for, you’re more inclined to get there. Simple.
Is it a lack of work ethic? You need to be realistic about what you want as a writer. If you truly do want to finish a story, then you’re just going to have to tough it out. Slap that butt in the chair and get those fingers typing. Writing isn’t a fountain of joy every second. There are times where you might hate parts of the process. Times you get tired of it. But think of it as like having a baby…the hard work is definitely worth the reward. So how much do you really want your “book baby”?
All right, short and sweet today! I hope my opinions on how to finish your story are useful to you. As always, this is just my experience, but it’s helped me finish more stories than not!
See you next post!