Please, mom, five more minutes?

March 11, 2008

I called my critique partner last night because I’d added this great new twist to the end of my second book and I wanted to brainstorm exactly how to use it. Her answer surprised me.

Me: So, what do you think? (please like it)

CP: I think it’s great, but why are you adding things? This is the end of the book.

Me: But it’s neat, right? (please don’t make me end my book)

CP: You remember that blog you did about pushing things to the next level? You also need to know when to quit.

I hate it when she’s right. So here’s the addendum to the Book Ends blog I did the other day.

(At http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/2008/03/angie-fox-three-things-i-had-to-do-in.html in case you missed it.)

At the end of the book (the final fifty pages or so), it’s important to stop, take a breath and trust yourself. I think I’m going to have to tape that to my forehead so I don’t forget.

Without giving anything away, at the end of book 2, there are geriatric biker witches brewing up spells in the bathtub, a whole host of wicked fun she-devils and, of course, Lizzie the preschool teacher turned demon slayer who can’t even cuss right. The entire book has led the characters into a larger-than-life moment. Now isn’t the time to add more. Instead, now is the time to trust myself that I’ve brainstormed, ramped up my tension and surprised my readers (I know I’ve surprised myself a lot with this book). It’s time to time to take what is there and knock it down spectacularly.

Why is it so hard to let go? I’m not sure, really. I can’t think of any reason other than the fact that writing and creating is fun. I’ve had such a ball with these books that I don’t know when to quit sometimes. But my critique partner was so right.

 So tell me – do you have trouble letting go of your stories? If so, what do you do?

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