This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at

Monday, August 16, 2010

Writing the Home Stretch

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Whenever I get close to finishing a manuscript, I have to force myself to slow down and not rush the ending. It's like I'm coming around to third base and I've got to slide into home base before I get out. 

As a long distance track runner, I was always taught to set a good and fast pace, but to hold a little bit of energy and speed for a kick at the end of the race. Over the years, I've used this philosophy in many areas of my life to have a "great finish" to whatever it is I'm doing. 

Writing is a little different. It isn't a race even though I'm trying to meet a deadline. I need to write a "great ending", but it must also have a satisfying ending that closes all the conflicts and gaps to the story by answering all the questions in the reader's mind and be uplifting since I write inspirational fiction. It can't be rushed. Not only do I have to end the main plot line to the story, but I must bring closure to each individual character, their concerns, conflicts, and goals. 

But there is a mantra beating in my heart, the end, the end, the end. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm cranking out every word to get there. 

Yesterday I caught myself making a character react to a situation that was out of character for him. When I realized what I was doing, I put on the breaks and stopped writing. I spent the afternoon with my daughter doing other fun stuff. The mental break is allowing me to mull over the scene in my mind, carefully considering how it ought to be written. What would that particular character say and do based on the personality I've created for him?

Are you ever tempted to rush the endings and do you have to slow things down and re-evaluate the story as you near  the end? Please share. 


Good for you. You need breaks of fun and relaxation. You are an excellent writer for sure. Can't wait to get your Highland Blessings. (it is ordered from you directly.) Juanita W