Drink of Choice: Guayaki Mate Chocolatté Tea (It’s good to the last drop!)
Today’s Scripture: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. – Eccles. 3:1 (NIV)
It has been WAY too long since I’ve blogged. Sometimes I think I don’t want a good thing to end. Though I have enjoyed sorting thoughts out on right-brained plotting in Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 while working through the start of my second manuscript, I realize that any writing must contain a good ending. With that being said, I’d like to give a few tips to creating a solid conclusion.
I want to preempt my tips by clarifying that if, in the midst of telling your story or putting together an article, you are inspired to write your conclusion, do it! Don’t mess with the creative juices when they decide to squirt out on their own. If, however, you are looking for inspiration, here’s what I would suggest:
- Read through all of your notes and any parts of your work you have already written in entirety. Don’t do any major editing, just read it. Make sure you have any loose ends dangling in front of you when you sit down to write the conclusion of the matter.
- Remind yourself of the main conflict in the story or piece you are writing. Take the loose ends and weave them together to resolve this conflict.
- Watch the scene from Rocky I where he ascends the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Give that right side of your brain a workout, and do what it takes to inspire yourself to finish! Start typing and see what happens.
- Once you have written a rough draft of the conclusion, go back and do a line by line edit… twice. I believe it is important for the writer to do this even in the early stages of the manuscript because it helps focus on detail. Getting the details right is a vital part to having a handle on the plot and leaving your audience with a satisfactory experience, whether they agree with the conclusion or not. For a good reminder on how to do a line by line edit, click on the following link: http://www.deepgenre.com/wordpress/craft/line-editing.
- Ask a trusted advisor to read the conclusion and give you honest feedback. Take them out for coffee and discuss any ideas you may still have bouncing around in your head. Maybe these thoughts will play back into the storyline of your WIP at some point. Maybe they will be inspiration for another work. Maybe you will just have some good conversation over a cup of coffee. Whatever happens, celebrate. You’ve conquered the conclusion!
If you’d like, post a brief excerpt of a conclusion that speaks to you (either one you’ve written or one you find inspirational) with a comment on this blog. One post will be chosen at random to win Revision & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell or your choice of one of the current CBA Top 50 Bestsellers. You have until midnight on July 4th to respond to be eligible for the drawing.