Sunday, November 7, 2010

Writing an Ending

So, I'm working on this cathartic novel for NaNoWriMo which, in part, is about the stupid things men do - mostly the stupid things they've done to me, with some composite information added from the stupid things they've done to my friends and the stupid things I can, with very little trouble, imagine them doing.

I feel like I need to add a disclaimer here: I do not hate men.  I like them, and that's how I get myself into situations in which they can do stupid things to me.  I don't think men as a whole are stupid.  I do think they frequently do stupid things that are a different sort of stupid than the stupid things women often do, which are also plentiful.

That said, in my novel, there are a lot of men doing stupid things.  They say art imitates life, so there you go.  My heart has been having the hell steadily beat out of it for the last three years or so, and naturally, that is coming out in my so-called art.  The problem with the novel is that I need to figure out how it is going to end.  I wish for my main character to have a more or less happy ending, because otherwise I will just depress myself.  However, I have not decided what sort of happy this should be.  After enduring all the stupidity, should she finally get the guy who will be less stupid to her?  Should she find happiness within herself and desert the idea of partnership with a male of the species?  Should our heroine ride off into the sunset alone or with company?  I have no idea.

This is the point at which I have to keep telling myself, "The main character is not you.  She is fictional.  You are not writing your own future."  This is the problem with writing a cathartic novel.  I do feel to some degree like I'm writing my own future, or at least saying something about what I hope my future will be.  And I don't really want to write this blow-off-all-men-forever ending, because what does that mean in terms of what is going on inside of me?  Nor do I want to write the happy couple at the altar ending, because, first of all, just ew, and second, that doesn't feel much like reality to me.  I'm not at a place where I can write that with any authenticity at all.  My last trek down Attempted Relationship Road has left me so broken that I can't imagine trusting my own judgment or another person enough to ever try another relationship.

Fortunately, I have about 40,000 words left to figure this out, at least for the main character.  I think it may take a little longer for me.  

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