you shall not pass

Endings…

They terrify me.

As I near the final chapters of the next Serpent of Time book, Sorrow’s Peak, parts of me are twitching with anxiety because as I mentioned in another post, I know someone must die, which takes the whole “kill your darlings” thing to a new level. Even when it’s time to go back and start chopping, rewriting and editing, that character will still be dead, and even though I know this is necessary, I’m still dreading it.

It’s as though Gandalf has planted his staff in the middle of my road with a mighty tremor and declared: YOU SHALL NOT PASS! The dread is so great I have spent the last week writing so slowly I’m almost ashamed of how little effort I’ve made to get to the moment I’m dreading so I can get on with the show. I keep turning to other projects and focusing my attention there, so I’m still writing even after I barely manage to finish a full chapter in Sorrow’s Peak. But this has got to stop. I need the balrog to battle Gandalf and get him out of my way. Sorry, Grey Wanderer, but you’ve got to go. Don’t worry, the Lady Galadriel will bring you back when the time is right.

Okay… There’s only one way to do that. It’s time to pry the clenched, white-knuckled fingers of these characters from my skirt and let them fall into the places they must go. They will think I am the cruelest of all the gods, but I know what’s best for them, and I know what has to happen so they can reach the good things I have in store for them down the road. They won’t think there is anything good left to be had by the time I’m done with them in this book, but hey… it’s always darkest before the dawn, right?

As a writer, do you struggle with endings in this way? If so, how do you break the barrier you’ve put up so you can carry on and move forward? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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