Most people start a new novel for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). That's what you are SUPPOSED to do, according to the rules.
I used it to finish a novel, this year (my YA SF, Star Tripped).
I thought it would be...easier. I already know my characters (or so I thought). I knew my setting. I knew *most* of my plot. Granted, all these things are constantly evolving during the writing process, but having a detailed outline to work off of and a good handle on the first half of this novel, I was sure NaNoWriMo this year would be a breeze.
Cue sighs of frustration, hair-pulling and the constant temptation to buy chocolate and cheetos to get me through yet another difficult scene. For one agonizing stretch of three days, I couldn't write at all (except in a journal format, possibly breaking more NaNoWriMo rules).
I managed to get through it, with much brainstorming and several scenes written purely on a "trial and error" basis, and some frantic stretches of writing to get caught up.
And now I officially think endings are harder than beginnings, because:
1) you have to tie your character's internal arc into the plot's turning points or high and low points
2) you have to ratchet up the tension near the end to breathless levels
3) you can wing a lot of things in the first half of novel because you're assuming you'll have it all figured for the second half. Hah.
4) you have to tie your plot strings together logically. Defensibly. Hah hah.
5) you have to account for all your characters and sub plots. How did this get so complicated?
6) your outline fails you at the end. You thought you had it all worked out, but when the rubber hits the road, it's a whole different story.
Almost literally, a whole different story.
One thing I am still sure of: NaNoWriMo rocks. I love my NaNo buddies. Leslie Rose, Highland Writer, Susan Kaye Quinn, Sunshine 21, Vicki Tremper, you guys and your progress bars kept me going. Really. Thank you, even when I wanted to kill you for almost always being ahead of me. (Except for Susan. Everyone needs a come-from-behind hero).
And you know that feeling when you write the last sentence of your novel? If you don't, keep at till you get there. Because it is amazing. There are no words to really capture it - and I've been through 50,000 words lately.
here's my last line:
“Don’t worry,” I say with a smile, sure of myself. “He’ll come back.”
So what do you think is harder, beginnings or endings?