Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tie Me Up, Baby

I saw a movie this week. Actually, I saw three, but two were on HBO.

The one I went to see at the cineplex disappointed me. Why?

Too many freakin' loose ends.

I spent 30 minutes after the movie was over wondering WTF had happened to several subplots. They seemed to have been forgotten by the screenwriter/director/producers/actors. The audience, however, noticed a couple things were MIA.

How many times has this happened after you've finished reading a book?

How about after you finish writing one?

I've been fortunate enough to read books that tie up a lot of loose ends. As for writing them? Not so much. But I don't call it quits until I wrap everything up. That's when I feel like I'm actually talented--when things are all over the place and I get to organize them. I usually go about it in sections, depending on the significance of the subplot. Little ones go first, then the big kahunas get my full attention later on. After I've finished, I read the whole manuscript again to see if I missed something. If I didn't, I sing all of Madonna's hits around a campfire while playing the ukulele.

Well... That doesn't really happen, but you get the picture...

Here's the deal: you can make the MC lovable, the antagonist swoonworthy, and the plot action-packed, but that pesky brat of a denouement will keep honking your horn until every plot hole's been covered. Oh, the joys of writing...

So tell me, what's your game plan when that loose end keeps screaming 'Tie me up, baby!'?


  1. Oh loose ends are so fun! Not really...I'm so OCD about my ms that I keep notes as I write of things to double check even if I'm certain that I've tied them off.

    It's crazy really but I hate it when certain problems or events don't get resolved.

  2. You're absolutely right. You don't want to get to the last page & wonder, "Well, whatever happened to so-and-so?"
    Great post. :)

  3. Game plan? I go and have a cup of tea and a chocolate! :-)

    Oh but seriously!! I could go crazy thinking of how on this god's green earth do i tie this loose end up or that?!? I start with something I think is a great idea only to realise that the idea has bored a great big sinkhole in my story! Arrrrrgh.

    anyway!! Glad to know you go at it at full pelt when you spot these blighters and get organized about it all!! Well done you!

    I'd love to hear Like a Virgin played on the ukelele!

    take care

  4. I have a wip with loose ends, and someone I trust advised me to tie them up, so I shall. It makes no sense frustrating the reader.

  5. savvy writing by you and your followers...i believe you will be more than a have the skills

  6. Hey, Amparo (cool name btw), thanks for following my blog, I appreciate it! As for this post, I hate loose ends! Ok, no exclamation mark is needed because somethings are just unanswerable...but at least majority of the conflict must be settled. As for writing loose ends, I always tie them up at the end, someway or somehow. Write on!

  7. Can we play a game where we guess what movie you're talking about? Because I think it might have been Iron Man II. That movie was ridics bad, IMHO.

    I have to write timelines for myself to keep track of who is doing what and where, just so I know. Still a work in progress is getting the tied ends gracefully into scenes.

  8. Hey, guys! It's great to see how other tie up those pesky loose ends, mainly because I tend to freak out whenever I spot one in my manuscript.

    Old Kitty: I would PAY to hear Like A Virgin on the ukulele, too!! How bizarre would that be?

    Angel-Star: Thanks so much!!! You are too sweet, and I'm sending you good vibes right back!

    Vatche: Why ON EARTH would you think my name is cool???? I think it sounds like a Hispanic soap opera villain or something. Thanks for stopping by, though! Appreciate the support!

    Sarah: Don't fret--it's not Iron Man 2, although that movie left me brain dead. Summer films tend to be worse than the ones put out through the year, don't they? Jeez...

  9. I think some loose ends are good if it's for another book/movie. But if it's a one-off then it's just annoying. lol.

  10. GOOD topic!! I make plot points to cover up the holes and rely on my beta reders to tell me if I messed up!

  11. I can NOT stand loose ends! But I think I probably have a lot in my writing, CPs and multiple re reads help me a bit, I don't know what I'd do without my CPs!

  12. Great topic! I hate loose ends too. Didn't somebody notice along the way?

    It took a LONG time of thinking to fix one of my loose ends. Others I've cut if I couldn't find a good solution.

    And thanks for finding my blog so I could find yours!

  13. Loose ends are necessary if it's a trilogy or something like that, you need things that stretch over a period of time to carry you over. BUt in the third book in a trilogy or a stand alone, I like for things to be wrapped up. Saying that, I feel like I need to add that while I like things to be wrapped up I also enjoy having a little bit left to my interpretation. If that makes any sense?

    PS> I love your blog layout!