#TBT: Sticking the Landing

May 20, 2016

Yeah, technically my #TBT is Friday, but I've never been punctual. Why start now? Yet, if we all take a minute to look back on our progress, it's amazing to see how much we've accomplished and grown. As a writer, I've come a really long way since 2010. Back then, I had just published my first novel, was working diligently on my second, and I struggled with endings. Though I'm not struggling so much with story endings these days, I'm now bombarded with different challenges- time management, marketing, running a profitable business. Here's the post from December 16, 2010, first published on my original blog, Unwritten. Enjoy!



It was 1984. An eight-year-old me watched with bated breath as Mary Lou Retton seemed to defy gravity itself and scored two perfect 10's for her vaults in the Summer Olympics. I cheered along with the rest of the country for the little hero who could. Her performances gave us all a surge of joy, of hope that we too could aspire to great things. She made us forget for a time (not that I ever thought much of it back then) about the wobbling economy and the threat of nuclear war.

And, if there was one thing that girl could do, it was sticking her landing. A perfect ending. An applause-inspiring summation to a great show.

I struggle with endings. By the end of a story, I don't know if I'm tired of challenging my characters, or if I feel sorry for them because they've been through so much strife. But, more often than not, my endings are rushed. In my hurry to get to "happily ever after", I sometimes leave my readers saying, "Wait a minute, that was too easy" or "But what happened to so-and-so?"

Just one weakness out of many for me, but if I don't stick that landing and wrap up my endings so that my readers can snap the book shut with a feeling of warm satisfaction, then I haven't done my job as a writer. I haven't scored my perfect 10 and sent the crowd to its feet.

Where do you struggle as a writer? What keeps you from the perfect 10?

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