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Summit Umlaut




I’ve sent off my second last chapter.



I think.



The standard plot graph looks like a jagged mountain with the peak way off to the right. There’s a short falling away from the peak, and that’s the end. Think of Mallory summiting Everest (you know, I don’t think I’ve ever used that verb before. Wow. I feel all blushy and virginal) and dying shortly afterwards on the way down.



The crisis has happened. Melanie and I have summited successfully (there it is again! I’m feeling a little more experienced and confident now) and are on that short downward section.



There are two big problems to avoid in this part of the story. You don’t want to rush, and have your hero wake up and find it was all a dream, or start your last chapter: ‘Two years later the MacGuffin was doing well…’ This trap is something that super-stylish writers can fall into, hoping to blind or bedazzle their readers rather than slog through some helpful exposition.



But you don’t want to move too deliberately either, to go over every little thing again and make sure you’ve double-dotted every umlaut. This is a trap for plot-heavy writers who wants to show off the mechanism of their Swiss watch.



 Don’t go too fast or too slow. Make good decisions about what to put in and what to leave out. Ending a story has the same issues as the rest of the writing.


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