This is not an apocalyptic blog, one about the end of the world as we know it. No, I think we've all gone there pretty much. So the ending that I'm talking about is that place in novel writing where you know the novel is going to end. The story is completely behind you like a wave, and you just kind of cruise.
Now, this is not to say the story is easier. No, in fact, your characters could likely be going through some of the hardest parts of the tale. There could be plot twists and reveals--there could be breakdowns and sadness and catharsis. That's not easy, but the writing of it is. All the plot elements have coalesced. The knowledge you've had inside you about the end comes out, pulls you forward, allows you to bring together all that you know, putting it onto the page.
When I run with my friend Kris, and I suddenly have energy at the end of the run, she says something like, "You are going back to the barn," or, "you are sensing the barn."
Damn, I'm the cow, and I'm going home!
I have so many metaphors for this, and I'm going to try to give you only one now and not mix it. Getting to the end of a story is like walking to the top of a very high slide--the kind they no longer allow on playgrounds due to safety reasons--when you are a young child. There your mother is, far below you. She's smiling up at you, encouraging you to keep going. Finally, you manage to make it to the top, but then you have to be in that middle place--holding onto the top bar and putting your legs over onto the hot metal slide. You are neither up nor down, stuck at this place, and it looks dangerous. The sun strikes the metal, almost blinding you. The decent is steep and fast, the space between the lip of the slide and the sandy ground huge.
Should you let go? Is it possible? Can you make it?
Somehow, you let go, and while you might stick for a second, suddenly there's the rush of steel under you, the whoosh of air! You are going, speeding, almost flying. It's perfect; all that you've wanted. You seem to fly off the slide and there you are, standing on your own two feet. Done.
That's the end of a story. That's how it feels.
Yesterday, I wrote about four pages, which is a lot for me. I'm about a 2 pages a day person, but as I was writing, I felt the slide under my ass. I've blinked away the sun a bit, and I just let go. Here's to hoping the rest of the ride goes just like that!
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org