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MiaC: 31,197/31,149 Familiar: 67,778/67,621 Huh, I misremembered my… - Silicon Rose [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Silicon Rose

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[Nov. 14th, 2005|10:48 pm]
Silicon Rose
[Current Mood |creativecreative]

MiaC: 31,197/31,149
Familiar: 67,778/67,621

Huh, I misremembered my goal for today as somewhere around 67,660. Ah well, a few extra words never hurt. ^^

MiaC has moved into the second phase, and me? I've written over 46,000 words this month already, well over halfway to my goal of 80,000. Familiar is trucking along. We'll see how many more words it has in it. I was judging somewhere around 5,000, but this scene looks like it's going to stretch out longer than I was expecting, and there's still at least one fight, one major conversation scene, some sneaking around and the tie-up bit at the end to handle, so maybe it'll be longer than that. ^^ In fact, it most certainly will - in general, I find scenes of only 1,000 words in length far too short, and I imagine the current scene has probably at least 1,000 words left in it, the fight somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000, the conversation another 2,000 to 3,000, and the ending - bah, who knows. Depends on what I decide to go with.

I'm feeling my standard urge to not-actually-end-the-story coming on strong, though. I don't want to end this like "The School" - "It was not the end, but only the beginning!" I have to actually END the story. I have to.

One of the cats has a nail that looks like it got split somehow - the quick is exposed, and it is bleeding, though only occasionally. It's not major - maybe a few drops every few hours. We will have to take him into the vet to have it looked at. Poor thing, though he doesn't seem too bothered by it. He even lets me look at it without too much fuss.

[User Picture]From: froborr
2005-11-15 05:29 pm (UTC)
Read the essay "Playgrounds of the Mind" by Larry Niven (which is very different from the BOOK Playgrounds of the Mind by Larry Niven).

To summarize: Fiction is a form of mental play. The issue with science fiction and fantasy is that the playground equipment is not pre-established by cultural consensus (unlike works set in consensus reality); this work must be done by the author. The ideal ending, according to him, is one which ends the game but keeps the equipment intact.

In other words, the story is over when the primary conflict is resolved. This does not necessitate destroying the universe, killing the characters, or even giving them a happily ever after.

For example, the first part of Foundation and Empire (each of the two parts is a self-contained story, connected only by the fact that both involve the Foundation) ends with the Empire's impending attack on the Foundation collapsing due to internal political pressure. The Foundation is no longer under attack, and therefore the primary conflict is resolved. The Empire is still there, still militarily powerful, and it is clear that they will tangle again, but the reader also knows that from now on it will be the Foundation that initiates and the Foundation that has the advantage. Playground equipment is fully intact, but the reader is clear that there is nothing more of interest to tell.

Now, I disagree with Niven on one point: sometimes destroying the equipment is part of the game. Take the ending to FFVI, for example.

Another piece of advice, from Chekov, IIRC: Every great story begins with either a birth or a death.

Something new must be created or something old must be destroyed. That is where stories end.

This had a point when I started writing it. I think it was "a new beginning" is a legitimate place to end a story. That said, if you really think that's not how Familiar should end (as opposed to "I've been doing this too often and should stop" -- that'll just result in forcing it), end it differently.
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