Plot, Writer Tips

How to Get to the End of Your Book When It Feels Impossible

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.

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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!Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.39.03 PM

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.

Examples:

  • bullying
  • 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!

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*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:

  1. Know where your book is going and can write to that ending without getting side-tracked
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

NO.

Don’t do this!

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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.

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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*

Like these posts? Wanna have more? Subscribe to my email list to receive inside info and lots of fun! 

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment down below.

Thanks for reading!

Mary

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How to Get to the End of Your Book When It Feels Impossible

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22 thoughts on “How to Get to the End of Your Book When It Feels Impossible”

  1. This post hit so close to home, LOL. I actually just finished the first draft of my WIP and I can’t even count all the times during the writing process when I thought I would never finish. Getting to the end seemed just like some far-off dream. I can hardly believe I actually did it. I will in all likelihood be coming back to this post as I work on the second draft!
    I thought it was really poignant what you said about the story mattering to you. That was really encouraging because the book I’m writing is the story of my heart, but when the going gets tough sometimes I have trouble remembering. That kind of encouragement is just what I needed to hear. Thank you for this!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. 100th post!!!!!! THAT’S JUST INCREDIBLE AND AWESOME AND YAY!!!!!!! *throws out party streamers and passes around chocolate, cookies, ice cream and…you get it* XD YOU GO, GIIIRRRRLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I used to struggle with it, but then I sat in on this writing webinar Jennifer A. Nielsen had (you know I can’t go long without bringing her up XD) about finishing your novel and it was honestly LIFE-CHANGING!!!! Okay, maybe not THAT big, but I remember afterwards, finishing novels became easier. Though, I STILL struggle with this, so this post is TOTALLY still helpful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ooooh, YES!! Let me think about some of my writing problems……I struggle a LOT with description and knowing when I’ve done enough or when it’s too much or when I need more…well, you get it. A post on that would be SUPER HELPFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GREAT POST, Mary!!!! ALWAYS LOVE reading them!!!! In fact, I used to spend most of my Mondays being like WHEN is Mary’s new post gonna come out!!!!???? It’s sometimes torture having to wait. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANKS MAGGIE!!!! *dances in party streamers and eats chocolate and cookies and ice cream and-yeah 😂*
      Wow that awesome!!!!! (lol yup can’t go long without mentioning her XD) That’s great!!! lol yay I’m glad!!! OH MAN. I FEEL YOU ON THAT ONE. I will definitely try my best to write out a post for you on that though 😉 THANK YOU SO MUCH MAGGIE!! Ahh I’m sorry I always post SO LATE. Monday’s are ridiculously busy days for me, and I usually end up posting while I’m in the middle of doing school 😂 Really not the best habit. But I’m hoping I’ll get a lot of posts lined up and written over Christmas break so that I can post them with higher quality and earlier in the day 😆

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, NO WORRIES!!! Mondays are actually pretty crazy days for me. But your posts are always something I look forward too in all the craziness!!! So, THANK YOU for them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This was so much help!! I’m definitely coming back to this post more than once. Hmm, I wonder who that blogger was? 😉😉
    100 posts is a lot, Mary!! Whoo!! 🙌 *Does celebratory dance*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yayyy I’m so glad!!! Hehe…actually I’ve been thinking for a while after posting this that I should’ve linked to your blog! I can edit it and do that if you want 😉
      Ikr!!! Ahhh! Thanks, Rayna!!! *dances beside you*

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Edna! (hehe thank you 😆) Yay, thanks!
      lol I know I just said thank you like 3 times, but thank you! 😆 I’ll definitely check it out!!

      Like

  4. Congrats on 100 posts!
    And great tips! Especially the first and last ones. I find that I can’t really even TELL people what I’m writing about for at least the first draft, or I get de-motivated. Not the best thing for someone in the writing blogosphere, but oh well. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Samantha!!
      Ooh yes, the first and last tips were my favorite. Ooh I understand that feeling. I find it most inspiring when I talk with other writers about my writing, and after I talk with them I’m always revving to go!

      Like

  5. Congrats on 100 posts! That’s awesome! *sets off fireworks*

    Okay, LOVE this post! It really helped me think about my novel that I’m editing/rewriting in a new light. I was getting really tired of it, nothing seemed to be working and all my work on it seemed to merely be making it worse so I took a break. I’m still not ready to go back and work on it, but now I can begin thinking on how to fix it. 🙂

    Tomorrow’s Christmas Eve!!! Merry Christmas! ❤ ^_^

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Jen!! *sets off fireworks with you*

      Aaahh, yay, so glad this helped you! I 100% understand that, the exact same thing happened to me. Yes-one step at a time! I’m sure when you come back to it fully it’s going to be amazing.

      Yess I’m so excited!! Merry Christmas to you too, Jen!! 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  6. These are all some great tips! Especially about your book giving you joy. I can personally vouch that, if it makes you miserable, you won’t want to write it. 😅

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ok, I know I’m late on this post. I was scrolling through your posts and this one grabbed my interest because I’ve been working on my novel lately and it feels like I’ll never reach the end. So thank you so much for the encouragement and advice!!! I’m TOTALLY gonna try out that tip on making a list of all the things I love in a book. I’ve never completed a novel before but I hope to complete the one I’m working on. And congratulations on the 100th post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!🎉😀🎉
    P.S. I loved the Tangled gif!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries!! It’s always double the awesomeness whenever someone wants to read a ‘later’ post 😝 Aw of course!! I’m SO glad this was helpful for you. Yess, that one is an awesome tip! YAY, YOU CAN DO IT KATHERINE!! And thank youuu!!!!!
      (hehe thank you, I HAD to include it 😂)

      Liked by 1 person

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