Can’t get started on your Great American novel? Don’t despair because A.) It probably won’t be any good anyway. B.) It will never get published and C.) It probably won’t be any good anyway.
Still, to avoid writer’s block when starting a novel, try writing the ending first. When people ask how it’s going you can say “I’m just finishing the ending.”
Study these last few lines from several of my novels. Remember, the ending should rip readers’ hearts out, almost as if a frog had exploded in their lap.
Ending for: Zen And The Art of Amphibian Maintenance.
Then, after all that, the stupid frog exploded.
Ending for: Pete Was One Mean Cowpoke
“And that,” said Pete, slapping the dust from his chaps and sneering at the hogtied frog, “is how we handle reptahls out here on the range.”
Then the frog exploded.
Ending for: Across the River and into the Wal-Mart
Bella half-turned at the entrance to the jetway. With cackling insouciance, she flipped Bob the bird.
Bob caught it and saw it was a dead woodpecker. A cruel comment on the frequent power outages in his hydraulic boom? He chided himself for being so negative.
Obviously, it was just a dead bird Bella found in her pocket. She’d flipped it to him, knowing he would see to its proper recycling.
But as he approached the dead-animal trash bin, a ribbit-like noise distracted him. He looked around and behind and then, puzzled, looked at the dead woodpecker.
Though Bob had failed Conversational Woodpecker in high school, he remembered a few basic phrases.
“Did you say ribbit?”
The woodpecker, still dead, seemed to be mumbling something. While Bob couldn’t be sure, it sounded almost as if the hard-nosed featherbag was saying “Run, you peckerwood.”
But, at that moment, the frog exploded.
Ending for: A Bottle in Front of Me*
Julia never did understand why Bob had the two old-fashioned bathtubs set up in his back yard. She’d tried to play along and even went so far as to take off her clothes, as he instructed, and climbed into one of them. He then climbed into the other.
“Now what?” she said, noting the neighbor next door with his binoculars.
“Um,” said Bob. “I’m not sure. It just said take the pill and get into the tub.”
“But why didn’t you take off your clothes?”
“Oh crap,” he said, slapping the frontal lobotomy scar on his forehead. “I forgot.”
“Well,” Julia said, “how’s the elevator working?”
“Still stuck on the mezzanine,” he said.
“Um, shouldn’t we both be in the same tub?” Julia said. “I mean, think about it.”
Bob tried very hard to think.
Then the silly frog exploded.
Ending for: The French Lieutenant’s Fromage
Finally, Bob explained, Congress passed legislation downgrading the army, navy, airforce and marines to club status. Each service got a large treehouse and their members two-tone letterman jackets.
Initially, conservatives insisted treehouses post a “Girls Keep Out” sign. They also wanted secret passwords.
Liberals, insisting on transparency, demanded all secret passwords be made public.
The Lunatic Fringe condemned the idea of transparent jackets, arguing that soon families would have to wear transparent underwear. They were told to shut up and sit down.
In the end, liberals agreed that secret handshakes could remain secret. Conservatives conceded to treehouse signs that said simply “No Boobs.”
At the signing ceremony, with everyone wearing the cardboard smiles handed out at the door, maturity reigned.
And then, Bob continued to explain, Lieutenant Merde’s dang frog exploded.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2015, all rights reserved.
*If your first thought was “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy,” give yourself 50 points and advance to life’s next level