So, dudes, can I just tell you that I recently began my latest book, my third book, the book that is supposed to be so much better than anything else I've ever written before? It's not going that well.
Right around this time last year I finished the rough draft of my second novel. That novel put me through some things boyo. Characters decided to go their own way, minor characters juggernauted, and I don't even want to talk about what happened to my carefully laid out plot points. Rest in peace, original plot points, rest in peace. The third novel started coming to me in fits and spurts just as I was finishing up my first big rewrite of the second novel. However, while I was hard at work on the third, fourth, and fifth rewrites of my second novel, when I was telling myself how much more everything that is good in the world this third book was going to be, I failed to take one factor in account: I hadn't actually written an original word of fiction in almost a year. And as I was daydreaming about a story that wouldn't run away from me and characters that would do exactly what I told them to do this time, the cerebellum rust was just piling up like you wouldn't believe.
Here's the thing about my writing muscles: I have really good ones. I blog five days a week at my community blog, Fierce and Nerdy. I return lots of emails. I leave Facebook comments like a mofo. I'm from the school of rewriting then rewriting again and again and again -- and then one more time just for good measure. So my writing biceps are 80s-era Schwartzeneggeresque. However, when it comes to my original fiction writing legs, that's the one muscle group that I build up and then let get weak, build up again and let get weak again. It's a bad cycle, and right now my legs are scrawny.
You would think that by the third book it wouldn't be so bad. I'd sit down at the computer and all of this pent-up story would just come flowing out of me. But I swear that I can actually hear things creaking inside my right brain whenever I sit down to work on this latest book. If I could get inside my cranium and spray the whole right side down with WD-40, I swear I would.
So basically, I always get really excited about beginning a new book, but as far as execution goes, I'm waaaay better at endings. And you know, rewriting.
But how about you? Are you better at beginnings or better at endings? Let me know in the comments. And while I've got you talking about endings, here's my favorite ending line of all time, from THE COLOR PURPLE by Alice Walker:
"But I don't think us feel old at all. And us so happy. Matter of fact, I think this the youngest us ever felt."
If you, too, have a favorite last line of fiction, make sure to include that with your comment.
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