How to kill your novel

Last month I was trying to answer a friend’s thorny question: “How do you manage to come up with a new chapter every day?”.

While I was squirming on my seat like a hooked worm, trying to overcome my inadequacies (should I tell him sometimes I manage to even fill a chapter with all different words?) I came back to a tried and true metaphor that has served me well.

Imagine a rubber plane and let’s say that’s the plotcharacters are like spheres going out and about on it. Now, as they have their wacky adventures, they accumulate mass and grow. In time, they stop being moved around by the plot and start moving the plot by grace of their own mass.

As characters grow, they turn into inescapable black holes
that eat all of your social life – if any.

It’s an imperfect metaphor but it did help me in that moment.

It’s also what’s happening with Patina.

When I started writing it, I really had no idea where I would arrive or even if I would manage to create a good story. Part of the challenge was to write a novel without a safety net. So no structure, no storyboard, no scene cards, no nothing. Just the idea of a cute wolf-girl and a Hunter in a world ruined by magic and everlasting hate.

As luck would have, it worked. The story is now in its very late stages. I plan to finish it before the end of the month.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it? I started this blog with the intention to document my challenge, but now I have to go beyond that. Chase new stories, ride past new horizons.

That’s scary.

And the temptation to just keep writing Patina on and on is strong. The characters are there, and I might just keep them like puppet on a string, forever, until they get past their expiration date and they have nothing else to give except for a desperate plea for death.

But I’m not Disney.

So. How do you kill your novel? How do you know when it’s time to move on?

How do you put it to rest, face the good and the bad and get ready for the next challenge?

At this point, it’s up to the characters. The same growing spheres that have began to bend the story long ago have told me how they want to end.

I feel the hand of the Muse on my shoulder.

Every piece has found its conclusion, or at least it’s about to.

I will try to give them the ending they deserve, and what they have been asking for. It will not be a happy ending for everyone, but then again Patina was never supposed to give one out. Perhaps that world is simply broken past any chance of repair, at least on a larger scale.

I will try to give them whatever victories I can.

It will surely be an ending for me.

For the time being, I am about to plunge the knife deep into the pages.

I hope you will enjoy the final spillage.


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