The Mighty Endjaculation

I love ending a story.

Here’s why:

Because eventually you reach a space where it’s the point of no return. You’ve been building. And building. Climbing the hill. Worrying at the bone with your teeth. And suddenly it’s all there. You can only go down. It all comes together how it has to come together and —

Well, use whatever metaphor you like.

Roller coaster cresting a hill.

Throwing up and purging after a long night of feeling like shit.

The climactic ejaculation — the blog-titular “mighty endjaculation.”

You either get there or you don’t. If you get there, you know it adds up. Maybe it’s not good, but sweet fuck, it adds up. And it happens fast, too. You have momentum. You use gravity. That’s the best part about writing an ending, or even a whole third act. No more confusion. Only a kind of weird eerie purity. The way is clear. Run, fuck, kill, or die. You’ve already jumped off the bridge. Now all you gotta do is fall.

It happened when I finished Blackbirds. I hit the last act and it all just burped out of me.

It happened when I finished the script for HiM. We knew where it needed to go and how it was going to happen and when the time came to bang it out, those last days of writing I was hitting 10, 15 pages a day.

It happened just now, 20 minutes ago, when I finished Double Dead.

Wrote 4k day before yesterday. Wrote 4k yesterday. Today? 7k.

Double Dead is double done.

And by “double done” I mean “not actually done at all.” This is just the first draft. I gotta do a pass. Editor’s gotta do a pass. Writing is rewriting, after all. But I will say, it feels good. I’m happy. For today, at least. And I’m going to run with that. Run with it all the way home, cackling, giggling, doing cartwheels. Metaphorical carthwheels. If I tried to do the real thing, I’d break my fool neck.

For now, I breathe a big giant exhalation of air.

Who wants some whisky?




      This is also where I praise Jesus that I had an outline. It really, really helped to get me to where I needed to be and write ~90k in two-ish months. I deviated, but even when I did, I always knew where I wanted to end up and how to get it back on the rails.

      — c.

  • Congratulations. I’ve only felt that feeling once before, but it friggin rocks. With luck, I’ll feel it many more times in the coming months and weeks.

    Enjoy! Relax, and can’t wait to read this bad boy.

  • YAY.

    I will partake of the whiskey, thanks. I’m tearing my hair out atm concerning chapter I thought would be super fun but is in fact super hard.

  • I’ll interrupt the whiskey for a moment to ask a personal-process question: Do you jump in and do the pass immediately, or do you shelf the book, wait a bit, and move on to something else, so that you can come back and do the pass with fresh eyes?

    I lean towards the latter — partly because I feel too close to the material upon completion, and partially because I’m an ADD muthafucka and need to get my jollies through another project first.

    • @Gareth:

      Normally, I’d prefer the latter, but freelancing has, when necessary, made it possible for me to jump in much more quickly, which is the case here — I’ll be going through it starting Monday, since the book is due pretty much immediately. I know the book is clean, by which I mean, written well enough in the sense it should have minimal typos or language bugaboos. The edit will be for content, and after the two month writing process I already know things I’ll be in there looking for.

      — c.

  • Congrats, man!

    I am looking forward to – and terrified of – this part. I think it’s coming soon. I’m standing on the precipice… about to leap…

    Exciting, isn’t it?

  • I will never know that feeling. I feel like I’m constantly focusing on a new project and I never finish anything. Oh, well. I’m content (for now) with the foreplay.

    • @Jay:

      For Double Dead, the publisher required a chapter-by-chapter outline. I wouldn’t necessarily do that each time — at the bare minimum, I plot tentpoles and “Save The Cat” moments, and couple it with a mind-map of branching possibilities and questions.

      — c.

  • Google brought me back to your blog after I searched ‘how to edit a fucking novel’. And it took me straight to “How Not to Bug the Fuck Out when Writing a Novel’. I feel like there’s some karmic wisdom in that.
    I’ve been reading your blog like an addict for the past couple months when I first found it, and it’s the first time I realized, “Oh YEAH, instead of firing off some obscure twitter reference I can comment ON the Blog.” I’m fucking brilliant sometimes.
    But I find it so awesom that you said finishing a novel is like taking the leap and then falling. I finally finished my WIP… And just as I was about to write the climax, it really felt like teetering on the brink of something so terrifying… Then wham wham wham… All those scenes and delicious word juice spewed forth and IT WAS DONE.
    There’s NOTHING like it.
    I still giggle like a demented maniac reading the last couple lines of my draft. IT is DONE.
    Now the real work begins, and I plan to shamelessly use your blog for my own success.
    Thanks for writing everything Chuck.
    Beard the FUCK on.

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