How does this end?

I’m struggling. It’s because I’m a pantster. I let the plot, the characters and the locations carry me willy-nilly where they wish to go. Whatever idea I had for an ending when the idea for the novel (Book Two) was first conceived went out of the window many weeks ago.

It feels to me that I could go on forever working up some new twist or turn. That won’t do; the first draft is already too long… and that’s another thing. Is it too long? What determines how long a novel should be? Convention, rule of thumb, a literary agent, editor, publisher or the author? I have read somewhere that the story tells you how long it needs to be and that would seem to fit with my status as a pantster.

I do know its time to wind Book Two up but there are three or four chapters to go yet and I don’t know how it finishes. So what! Isn’t that what a pantster should expect? Well it doesn’t feel right, it feels that I could produce a really weak ending if I allow the random walk to continue. What to do?

I’ll stop writing for a short time and I’ll create a strong ending in the form of ideas, scenes, outcomes etc. sewing up all the loose ends and providing some surprises. Then I’ll write the last chapter and then join A to B. It’s not often I write out of chronological sequence but this might break the constant wandering towards an ending that finishes with a ‘whimper not a bang’ (with thanks to TS Eliot!).

I’ll let you know how it goes—when I get there.

WELL THAT WORKED OK! (update on Nov 12 2014) I’m now in the process of final edits to be followed by the final polishing. Still hoping to get it out by the end of 2014.