I’m Not Ready for the End

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADoes anyone else have this problem?

You get to the last act of your novel and, suddenly, you’re paralyzed with fear and/or anxiety?

Everytime I reach this point in a novel, something comes over me and I have the hardest time writing the last 15K or so. It’s not that I don’t know what comes next in the plot–how I want it to end. It’s not that I’m struggling with a character arc. This is a whole different kind of writer’s block.

The fear of finishing.

Because what’s supposed to happen when you finish the first draft? You have to edit, then send it out to agents/publishers, sign a contract, go through the publishing process, and then release your novel out into the real world–where people will READ it. That’s right. Someone will read it.

Goodness–if that isn’t getting ahead of myself.

But finishing the first draft does push us to the next step. We’ve officially written a novel. It may not be in top form, but it is a complete product, which is quite an accomplishment in and of itself. Now, we move on to the editing stage–stage 3 (planning, writing, editing). It’s one stage closer to the end goal.

What if the people don’t like it? What if I am laughed into the next century? What if…no one reads it?

Of course, all of these illogical questions are way ahead of themselves, but that does not make them any less debilitating when we let them crowd our heads. I’m guilty of this more than I’d like to admit (and it’s also why there are a handful of manuscripts in the closet).

Fear is normal, some fear is even healthy. It’s the focus of the fear and the degree to which we let it control us that can be worrisome. Our God is not a god of fear. He is not a god of doubt or hate or anything like that. He wants us to succeed. He wants us to enjoy the fruits of our labor, especially when that labor is for him.

When we are afraid, when we doubt the gifts God gave us–that is when we need him. We need to surrender the bad thoughts, the bad feelings, all of it to him. We take our thoughts hostage and declare that we will not stand in fear any longer. We are children of God. The maker of Heaven and Earth, the Almighty is on our side. With him, we will prosper. We will face our fears and conquer our enemies. Victory will be ours.

Only 15,000 words until I reach the end–with God at my side.


About Ralene Burke

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients. Her first novel, Bellanok, is being published as a 4-part serial! When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

2 comments on “I’m Not Ready for the End

  1. Fear doesn’t keep me from finishing, but it does keep me from submitting, which is why only about a dozen agents and editors have seen my book. I really need to get more audacious about getting it out there.

  2. Finishing is fun! I mean, the ending is the reason you’re writing the book in the first place, right? Everything explodes, the heroine tells the hero she loves him, the villain unveils his Final Plot, there’s the Boss Battle and Monsters and more explosions and the hero faces certain death!

    Yes, I tend to write my books like action movies.

    Besides, just finishing the first draft doesn’t mean you’re finished. There’s still revisions and further drafts. I’m in draft 8 and I just figured out the best way for the hero to defeat the villain. It makes perfect sense and it was there in the story all the time!

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