At the Ink Slingers this week we are talking about the best advice we ever received pertaining to writing. Go here to check it out or read it below :)
The best advice I've ever recieved is from an unknown author. I don't remember the exact quotation but it went something like this:
"Know when to end"
I like it.
It's straight forward.
It's all a writer needs to know.
No, I'm not joking.
Think about it. We all, I'm sure, have read books that seem to drone on. Is the end of this chapter ever going to happen? Heck, is the end of this BOOK ever going to happen?
Here's the thing. There may have been other reasons for why we asked ourselves those questions when we read those books, but really, it all comes down to one thing. The author didn't know when to end...
...with the book
...with the series
...with a character (kill him already!)
The list could go one forever. The thing is, as writers we're are creating our own world and sometimes we get lost in it. We see all the details sometimes and get lost in them when we should be thinking about the "real" story. The real story isn't in the flower you just wrote four paragraphs of description on (most likely) it's with your characters and the plot.
Sometimes I can be a little long-winded, you're shocked I can tell. Every time I consider adding just a bit more, know when to end comes to mind. Do I really need that? Is it going to add to the story? Can they get the idea without it? It reminds me that sometimes less is more, regardless of what my word count and the rest of the world says. In the end, it's a story and it ends where it ends. Figuring that part out can be a bit of a challenge, but we're writers right? No one said it would be easy.
So do you know when to end?