The tension builds and the cast of potential villains grows to the point where it’s almost impossible to figure out who is the real ‘bad’ guy or gal. The buildup to a book’s climax is an important part of the story. Do all the pieces fit into the puzzle I’m painstakingly created over the past 8 months? Will I do the scene in my head justice? Or will the readers be deeply disappointed in my efforts?
The past month has been gut-wrenching for me. I know how important these last few chapters are to the success of my book, and the knowledge paralyzed me with fear. A few nights I sat looking at a blank screen, unable to find the right combination of words to put the visions in my head on the page, so readers would see the fictitious events as I imagine them.
The entire book is a trail I want readers to navigate by following the bread crumbs I leave for them. If they take the wrong fork, I will lose them, and they will put the book down. But if I can leave treats and small gifts along the way, hinting at a bigger treasure at the end of the trail, they may stay the course until the end.
Last night, I finished a very rough first draft of the chapter. It’s not finished, but it isn’t a blank page any longer. I can work with it. Tonight I will read it again and find ways to instill the fear, the despair, and the heartbreak necessary to give it life.
The ‘After’ in my tale will be my next writing challenge and I fear it will be one as intimidating as the preceding chapter had proved to be for me. Every action has consequences–sometimes happy, frequently not. How my characters react and the directions their lives will take is in my hands. Some readers may dislike the conclusion of my story. Keeping them engaged, regardless of their feelings, is my goal.
Books should make readers feel a variety of emotions. I want them to cry when my main character does, get spittin’-mad at the antagonist, and fall in love with the same man who touches the heroine’s heart.
When my book ends, I hope my readers feel their time was well spent and my story has a lasting place in their memories.
Isn’t that what all writers want?