IWSG Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the the May 6 posting of the IWSG will be Eva Solar,Melanie Schulz, Lisa-Buie Collard, and Stephen Tremp!
Visit IWSG for a list of authors contributing to this support group.

iStock_000014665836_ExtraSmall (2)I’ve written three endings for Forbbiden. THREE! Each one I thought was a zinger. I changed the first one because I thought of a more exciting ending. Then that second ending got scrubbed because – actually, I can’t remember why. Number three ending? I consulted with my god of an editor, Gary Nilsen. He was not impressed with ending #3. Frankly, neither was I after days of honest evaluation.


The bottom line? Everything is beginning to feel so amateurish in comparison to the espionage novels I’ve been reading. Right now Forbidden is relegated to being a door stop.

Sorry for the display of a whiny writer. The fire has fizzled. Is this terminal?


16 thoughts on “IWSG: MANUSCRIPT ENDING – Firing Blanks

    1. Hi Cherie. Stepping aside for a while has worked before. With my first novel, I stepped aside for a year; but that was mostly due to a series of personal events that required my undivided attention. There’s always the fear that I’ll lose the interest and decide to burn the manuscript, making the past three years a waste of time. Well, not exactly a waste of time. But at my age, I hear that damn clock ticking louder these days. Thanks for the encouragement, Cherie.


    1. God, I do hope my passion for this story flares out of control again. Well, not totally out of control. I have put the editing aside for a month. Got scared I’d lost the passion. The distance has mostly served to make me doubt I have what it takes. A critic reviewed the first several chapters last year – she told me I didn’t have what it takes to write such a complex story. I was mortified. I don’t expect a Pulitzer prize for Forbidden. But I would like to write a novel that readers enjoy. Thank you for the encouragement, Melanie.


    1. Great advice. I have been participating in a Nature Challenge wherein I immerse myself in nature. It has worked before. Relaxing and rejuvenating my inner child has helped me loosen up and let those creative juices flow. Fingers crossed. Thank you, Lisa.


    1. There were some elements in that ending that made sense and put my hero in a much more favorable light. When I read that first ending to my husband, his reply was, “Ain’t going to happen.” He’s a stickler for endings that are plausible and not written to only dazzle the reader. But I have been thinking over that first ending and see how much of it can be resurrected. Thanks, James.


  1. Step back from it for a few days or a week or two. Then try going back to your GMCs (how do your hero’s and villain’s GMCs intersect?) and especially your villain and your villain’s plan. I often find that’s where the weakness is in my own plots and those of my clients’, because who wants to spend that much time in the villain’s head? But you have to. Think about the entire story from the villain’s point of view, and write out a step by step plan for how your villain is going to accomplish his or her goals. That will often unlock missing pieces of the puzzle and deepen your understanding of what needs to happen–and most importantly, why. I hope this helps! 🙂


    1. Wow, Dana. Your advice is exactly what I needed to hear. I’m not usually a planner (in anything, including vacations; I love the excitement of flying by the seat of my pants). However, I can see the process of identifying the villain’s plan, getting into his head is going to unlock my protagonist’s inertia. Thank you so very much.


    1. Hi MRR: I think its the nagging inner voice of my conscience that has a problem with unfinished projects. I learned a few years ago that I don’t have to finish a project if it is no longer serves a purpose in my life. A few things got tossed into the garbage. I felt guilty, for a few seconds but that useless emotion fizzled quickly. However, I am far from throwing out Forbidden. It’s a wonderful story. Besides, I’m still in love with the hero. Thanks for stopping by MRR.


    1. Yep, finally released the photo, albeit a couple of years old. People know when a person is putting up a stage personae. And, people usually prefer the genuine original, rather than a copy. I’ve spent a lifetime of trying to mold myself according to what I think people want. It’s become tiresome. And it has been disrespectful to the people in my life. Here I am, Feather Stone, aka Judy Weir, complete with magic and warts. I’m letting her loose, LOL.


  2. LOL on the doorstop! Sometimes I think my writing’s complete crap. And other times it brings a smile to my face. I concur with the suggestions to take some time away from the manuscript, as well as to consider that there’s no perfect ending–just the ending that satisfies you most for the story YOU want to tell. Some people will love it and some people will hate it, no matter which ending you choose!


    1. Thanks Jen. I do forget that I need to write the story as it unfolds from my vision. There’s that part of me that wants to please everyone – quite a frustrating endeavor. Perhaps that’s a natural DNA thing of the female gender. And it’s part ego, wanting to impress not just readers but fellow authors. Perhaps a month or two camping out in the woods might help defuse all that stuff. Sometimes I think I need to totally unplug. Maybe after Forbidden is out there. Thanks for stopping by, Jen.


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