Beginnings aren’t easy…

It’s been about six weeks since I started my zombie novel. I took a break from it because I couldn’t figure out how to start the first chapter. Also, I have the attention span of a five year old and I got bored.

My friends joke about this all the time…and they are right.

Until about three nights ago.

I woke up around 3am in a cold sweat litterally shaking in my bed. My heart was racing, my head was throbbing, “Sweet Dreams Are Made Of These” was playing loudly in my head (no idea why?). I had just had the most epic, terrifying zombie apocalpse dream of all time, (well, so far). As I trembled in fright and sleepily reached for my lamp to flood my bedroom with light, I thought to myself:

OMG, all of that is going in the book. I’ve got my last chapter!

So here I am.  I’ve been writing since Sunday, and it’s going awesome! I am not quite ready to send the ending to my editors yet. It still needs a lot of tweaking, especially in the dialogue area (dialogue is hard, yo!) but it’s almost there.   I’m thrilled to have the ending, although the way it ends hints at a second book.

And wouldn’t you know…I know EXACTLY how I want to start the second one. (Yes Mikey, you were right; there needs to be three stories)  If I hadn’t promised myself to NOT start working on the second story without finishing the first one, the chapter to the second book would be complete.

Seriously.

It’s infuriating.

I’ve never been good at beginings in all aspects of my life. It takes me a while to get started, but once I do, I dive right in and go all out. I also live for endings. I want to know how everything is going to end up, even before it starts. If I could write out my life story, I know I’d have the ending done first.

For me, a book is all about the ending. A terrible ending can ruin a really good book as well as somewhat save a terrible book. Right now,  I love the ending I am working on. The story ends with a lot of chaos, betrayal and carnage. At the end, everything is a mess. You don’t know if key characters are still alive, if characters have switched sides. There are so many unanswered questions…and I love it. I want people to be angry when they finish, yet I want them to want more.

I got the idea for this ending from one of my favorite writers, the great Stephen King. First, if you’e never read “The Long Walk” go read it. Now. It’s an amazing story. In the book, 100 guys sign up to walk for miles. The last one standing wins. That is all I am going to tell you because revealing any more will ruin it.

If my copy wasn’t in Glendale; I’d start reading it right now.

I love the characters. I love how I practically abandoned all social responsibilities and priorities to finish this book.  It’s twisted, humorous and agonizing; there are so many emotions you experience reading that book. I’ve read it at least ten times. It’s not at all scary like most of his works, but it doesn’t make the book any less awesome.

But then you get to the ending. At the end of the story, you expect all your questions to be answered. You are practically giddy with expectation of how he is going to wrap up all this awesomeness and explain everything. You can finally go put the book down and start working on that 15 page midterm you’ve managed to put off for three days.

Then Stephen King robs you.  I literally threw the book in an outrage.

Who knew a book could cause so much outrage?

At first I thought I was just missing the point, so I read it again. Still the same reaction. I knew how it was going to end, and I reacted  as if I had read it for the first time. I even lent it to a friend, who texted me three days later:

WTF Stephen King?! What’s with the ending?! I’m sad.”

I’m not the only one.

As much as I hate how that book ends (I’m getting irritated just thinking about it) it’s one of my favorite stories from him. Don’t get me wrong, the ending isn’t terrible; it just infuriates you. Yet, I still love it and will read it a least three times a year.

That is what I want to do to my readers. I want them to be angry, but want more. I want to leave them hanging so that they are practically ravenous for a second story.

I hope I can pull it off.

Until then, I need a beginning and some serious inspiration.

Back to writing. Here’s hoping another terrifying dream comes my way.

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