How will I ever make it to the end? This is a question you’re not alone in asking.
Last week I got into a small discussion with another blogger. We both lamented about how it’s SO hard to get to the ending of the book. I was sorry I couldn’t help her more than just agreeing about how hard it is
so helpful, I know-and then I realized: I own a blog about writing advice. Just write her a post on how to do it.
I know, the shocking revelations I have, guys.
Anyways! Today I’ll be sharing with you 4 things that I’ve learned to use to empower me in continuing to plot and write my book until I make it to the end. Trust me on these, you guys, I’ve been working on my book for 4-5 years and my motivation has not ended (although I highly recommend not spending 4-5 years on your book even with the motivation. Just use these tips to spur you on faster!)
Okay, let’s get started!
1. It Has Meaning To You
All you have to do is make this book matter to YOU.
I know it’s sappy-but this book has to come from the heart. What else is going to empower you to write late into the night and early in the morning more than the fact that it matters so deeply to you?
I realized this year my book didn’t matter. Not to the world, and not to me. It was a striking blow, but it was on the same day I came around with a solution: I could make it matter. And all I had to do was write about myself.
I didn’t even need to write my name as one of the characters or write a whole biography rambling about my life. All I needed to do was thread into my current story the biggest lies and hurts I’ve experienced in life and how I overcame them.
Those lies and hurts and how you overcame them was your character arc-and now your protagonist can go on it too.
THIS is what readers want. They want to be able to relate to the protagonist, to be able to understand their hurt and pain because-believe it or not-the readers have most likely experienced those same feelings in life or even experiencing them right now.
And that’s why the world needs your book.
Readers read for many reasons, but one of the biggest is to discover how to grow as a person by learning how the protagonist did. Once they discover how the protagonist did it, they become encouraged and empowered to change as well.
- Once you thread in what matters to you, I can guarantee it’s going to matter to the reader.
Now, how can you discover what things would really matter to you?
Ask yourself how you’ve changed over the years. What internal (or possibly external) things have happened to you? You might not think you’re a very deep person but somewhere inside you do have a story. Dig deep and find the one you want to share with the world.
- not being ‘good enough’
- finding love
- not ‘pretty enough’
- no friends
Note: one of the biggest things you can use is self-doubt. Everyone has it-even the most popular and seemingly perfect people. Same goes with your characters.
2. It Brings You Joy
Okay, I know this is SUCH a contradiction to the last tip. Ya guys are all like: Uhh Mary, if I’m over here sobbing in pain about my past HOW DO YOU THINK IT’S SUPPOSED TO BRING ME JOY?
That is an excellent question, couldn’t have phrased it better myself!
*coughs*…anyway, according to Marie Kondo, if things do not spark joy, get rid of it.
A couple of years ago, I remember I could not for the life of me fall asleep. All of a sudden my brain randomly decided to threaten me by saying: If you don’t fall asleep, I’ll make you think of your book!
My brain screamed in terror and I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to fall asleep.
After a moment, I sort of laughed. Why was I being so silly?
good question Mary why ARE you so silly?
I had been taking a break from my book for a little because my heart just wasn’t into it. But I had no idea I was so disconnected from my book that I was willing to threaten myself into thinking about it as if it were torture.
So, I forced myself to mentally unpack a box I had not opened for so long. I yanked out my character’s names and places and the world, and slowly my plot was all there, floating in my head. I hated looking at it. I glared at it for a while. And then, slowly, I began rearranging and taking out, and by the next morning I was more excited than ever to write my book.
The deep and poetic moral of my epic backstory is this: I was getting rid of my story, letting it gather dust and slowly decay in the back of my mind because it brought me nothing but pain and annoyance. Yet I managed to bring it out again and immediately began chopping out everything that did not bring me joy.
- If I hated it, readers would hate it, and then no one would read my book.
Afterwards, all that was left was things I loved. So, write about what brings you joy. Then every time you think of your book you’ll smile. Every time you sit down to write, you’ll be ready to write your story.
- Tip: Something I found extremely helpful was creating a list of everything I wanted a book to possess. I even still have it. On the list I included things like a lovable villain, a quirky boy, an epic betrayal…none of the things you write down actually need to make it into your book. But once you pick and choose what’s right for your book specifically, you’ll have so many lovable things going on in your book that there’s nothing to hate!
3. Write The Ending
Sometimes you need to see yourself achieving your goals. And by seeing yourself writing the ending, how about you write it first.
I know, craziness. But writing your ending-whether that be the ultimate climax or the literal resolution-is a highly effective strategy when plotting your book.
By writing the ending you:
- Know where your book is going and can write to that ending without getting side-tracked
- Can have it to refer back to to know how many things and how much time you have to tie everything off by the time you reach that part.
- Can have it already already there for you to remember: you’ve already written the ending. You can make it. Just connect all the dots until you get there.
4. Write It For Yourself
Don’t write this book for your readers-write it for you. Your first draft isn’t trash-it’s the most beautiful thing in the world…because it’s written.
When you write for readers you’ll only hinder yourself. You’ll become plagued with questions like: What if they think it’s not good enough? What if I’M not good enough? You know that really famous author…I can never be like them.
Don’t do this!
Instead write it for you. Because of tip #1 it’s the most important story in the world for you. So write that draft for yourself. You felt defeated once. But then you fought. And now you’ve conquered. Write about what that was like in the form of your protagonist. Write it to show yourself that YOU overcame this and now you can overcome anything because of it. And readers will realize this too.
Getting to the end is hard, but’s also so exciting! Have FUN with your book, even if there’s so much going into it.
Have you ever struggled with writing the ending or getting to the ending of your book?
Do you guys want me to do a post for YOU? Tell me in the comments any writing problems you have!
Also, fun fact, this is the 100th post ever posted on the blog! *whoops*
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I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment down below.
Thanks for reading!
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