Frankie Says Don’t Do It

I’m sitting here wasting time instead of finishing my novel. The word count so far is 72,841 and I’m just about to write the final confrontation between my PI and the main villain. I figure I’ve got about 2k to go for that scene and then maybe another couple thousand for an epilogue and that’s it. I’m done.

But I don’t want to do it.

There’s no good reason why, mostly laziness and a serious case of procrastination. I hear stories all the time about authors who get toward the end of a book and suddenly find themselves in a white heat racing to the end of the manuscript. That just ain’t me. I know exactly what needs to happen in these last scenes but I can only work a few hundred words at a time before I need a break. Oddly enough, I’ve been doing more words than usual. The last few days I’ve been averaging 2500 words instead of my usual 1000. But the words take all day to write and have do be done in several chunks.

Am I the only one with this problem? What’s your process as you draw to the end of a manuscript?

8 thoughts on “Frankie Says Don’t Do It

  1. You are not the only one with that problem. I’ve been stuck in the same place for longer than I care to consider. Right where you are, one ot two scenes away from the confontation. I know how it ends, I think is the problem, so, in essence, I’ve already written it. My brain is saying, “Move on, old man, nothing more to learn here.”Of course, my brain is very wrong, but what are you gonna do?

  2. Bryon,I’ve watched you catalogue your progress on this book, and all I can say is great job. You’ll finish it, and soon, and be even more thrilled than you are right now. Finishing that first draft is terrifying and exciting at the same time. Get it done, then buckle down, cause editing is a lot more fun. Way to go! I can’t wait to read it!

  3. I find that I procrastinate toward the end of stories. I tend to look back to see what I’ve already written. I revise the beginning for a little while, and then go watch VH1 or something. I have no idea why I tend to slow down. Perhaps I don’t want the story to end, or I’m really really lazy and the latest episode of Best Week Ever is calling to me.

  4. When I was writing my first thriller, the further along in the story the faster I wrote. The reason being, I think, that in any good story, the pressure builds and builds and builds and the ending is just a frenetic burst of energy. So as I approached my climax, I wrote faster because the story got faster. The threads were wrapping themselves up, and my main character and villains simply wouldn’t rest until their story was on the page. The fact that you’re writing that many words a day in several chunks says to me that your story just won’t sit still. Which is a VERY good thing.-J

  5. You may be guarding yourself from going too fast and getting sloppy, which I had a hard time with. The momentum is almost too great and I just want to be done. I’m with Jason, though – that word count is a good one. Don’t question it too much!

  6. The beginning of a book is definitely the most fun. The hardest part for me isn’t the very end; it’s the section before the last quarter of the novel.If you broke a novel down into four parts, Part One and Part Two come effortlessly. Part Three is the bitch. Part Four requires resolve and determination, but it’s not as hard as Part Three.Part Three is that no man’s land where you have to draw all the pieces together from the first half of the book and set the novel on its course to end.That decision to set the novel on its course to end is the tough part for me.Stacey

  7. Totally agree with Christa. As corny a movie as “Finding Forrestor” was, the maxim holds true. Write the first draft with your heart, the second draft with your head. If the writing is speeding along, don’t question it. Let it flow. You can go back later and clean up any errors or sloppiness.

  8. Congratulations, Bryon. You may celebrate a little before starting the revisions. :)I’m very close to the end also. At this point I want to be rid of it and start the next one. Unfortunately, this time I have a major rewrite waiting before I’m free again.

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