Fixing some issues with the end of my story

shamguy4

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So I posted a few weeks ago about a writing coach and how she was not very helpful.
However she had one piece of advice that I thought might be helpful. Write your ending first.

My ending has been an issue and perhaps that is why I get stuck trying to write the book from the beginning. I am always trying to work my way towards the ending, but the ending has holes and issues. Maybe someone here can give me some ideas... I will try to abstract the parts necessary so I don't bog you down with all the other details.


My book is a sort of chase between 3 main parties. Actually i guess I can say 4, because the bad party can be split into two.

1. The protagonist a young man and his friends and the good wizards.
2. Smaller antagonist A - a country run by an evil king who is working with a secret group of evil terrorist wizards.
3. Main Antagonist B - the head of the evil wizards. He is just using the evil king for his own gain. By befriending him, they have access to his entire army.
4. The third party is the "good but corrupt" and oblivious government. The government is made up of many countries that allied together to fight against this evil king who has been causing lots of issues. They do not know at the start that the evil country is working with any terrorists or wizarding groups.

I alway liked the "government gets in the way" trope. Think of Harry Potter's ministry of magic, or Pirates of the Caribbean where there are the pirates, the good guys, and then theres the annoying officer James Norrington who just wont listen and has no idea what is really going on... I find the entanglement of that third party to be exciting. I don't know why!

The Premise
The "good but corrupt" government is at war with the evil king on some planets and its' an ongoing thing.
My main character lives with his family on a floating space station where he finds an item, a sort of pandoras box although he doesn't know it yet. Turns out the evil wizards want it, and send some terrorist to the space station to find and retrieve it. This person fails to retrieve it and is captured by the government.

Now the protagonists and the "good but corrupt" government do not know that this terrorist they captured is working for the king or even the bad wizards. They just think they caught a highly wanted terrorist for random crimes across the galaxy. No one seems to wonder why he ended up here. It comes across as completely disconnected from the king and the war. As such, non one cares for the item my character found and my character does not feel too threatened that he has it. This helped me mitigate issues right in the beginning where the government would just take the object before my character even begins his adventure!

On to the issue at hand:
The "good but corrupt" government officials come together to attend a meeting on that space station to discuss whats to be done with this terrorist they caught. Suddenly the evil king attacks with a fleet (His goal is to find the box because the terrorist they sent failed. Now they are sending an army. The government figures they are attacking because the officials all got together for this meeting and made themselves a target. I guess they didn't have very good security for this meeting :) )
The space station is destroyed in the fight and my character escapes with the box but loses a lot of family and his life is thrown into chaos and will never be the same.
He wants revenge on the people that ruined his life, as well as trying to figure out why and who wants this item he has.

Slowly he uncovers the secret group of wizards and that they are working with the king. He learns the truth about the item he has.

The ending
I had always envisioned the ending where the government finally gets the item, after some back and forth, and are completely oblivious to what it is, but you know, they want their hands in everything. My character tries to explain how dangerous it is, as he has uncovered everything, but it's sort of too late. He tries to tell them about the secret group of evil wizards helping the other side to which they laugh as no one has been able to verify any of that. They have another large meeting for something exciting (I don't know what...).

During this meeting, the cycle repeats, only this time, the fleet that attacks are the wizards themselves (including the top wizard who finally comes face to face with my main character). they finally decide to get the item themselves because, clearly sending a terrorist and an army has not been enough!
The evil wizards reveal themselves during this major scene in front of the world. They assassinate the Prime Minister and obtain the box finally.

At this point I know the ending, what happens next, and how my main character outwits the wizards. the whole story hinders on this moment and I have had this part down pat since the beginning. It's the stuff right before this moment that is hazey and difficult.


My issues:
Why would the government have another large meeting. Did they not learn from the after math of the first one? Do they think the war is over for some reason? Maybe they beefed up security? Then how do my baddies get in...? Do I have to create another major character that they perhaps have apprehended? the king himself? I don't want the war over! I plan on writing book two....

Originally I had the meeting because they recaptured the terrorist from the beginning again, but it felt kinda way too repetitive and not enough of a reason to have this stupid meeting again. I need something bigger. Also I feel stuck. Can the government officials ever meet again without fear of being attacked?
I need them to somehow come together again without fear. As if they somehow think they have won or something...

I also still have no idea how the government learns about the box itself and go after it. They are very focused on the war. I also felt that if my character were to realize how important the item was to the war too soon, then he would feel like a target and get rid of it as soon as possible. So I had it that this happens slowly and by the time he realizes the entire war hinders on this item he's very invested and doesn't want to give up the item. However this takes time.


There is a LOT more that goes on in the book and things that have to happen in a certain order, although i left it out. i am trying to just deal with knowing my ending better. I didn't even mention my characters inner conflicts and the ending and what happens with the item... It's not important here.
I hope this is not too confusing!
 

shamguy4

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Lastly I also kill off a lot of my main characters family and I have him somehow move on pretty fast and leave his home world, which is hard in my brain because I know I would be a mess for a while. Its hard to justify him leaving his home world just like that. woudnlt he stick around for a while? See if anyone he knows or loves is still alive?

a way out is to start him off as an orphan, but I feel that so many books start with an orphan...
 
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tinkerdan

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So first the terrorist tries to steal "pandora's Box" PB.
He gets caught.

Question, does he know who he is stealing PB for and is it the Evil king or the heinous wizards or both and how much does he know?
This is important because the government has come to take him into custody and determine what to do with him.

Does anyone know for a fact that he tried to steal the PB? If so how does that work into things?


Next The good but corrupt government(gbcg) comes to the station and officials meet to determine what to do with terrorist.

Are we to assume gbcg thinks he meant to do terror and nothing else?

When does the MC discover that the PB is of importance to someone?

Next the Evil King Attacks the station to obtain the PB.


Did EK know the gbcg was meeting on the station?
Does EK even know who has the PB--that is the MC?

Next the gbcg officials assume the EK means to take advantage of their exposed position to do away with them. The EK destroys the station.

The MC(Who must know something is important about the Pb)escapes with his life and the PB.
I assume the officials escape also.

What happened to the Terrorist ersatz thief? Escape-Dead-still in the hands of the gbcg?[This is important for now and later, especially if he knows of both the EK and Wizards].(EK and Wizards would want him free or silenced).
Do the officials and the gbcg believe they need to shore up security in light of the EK's attack?


So, somehow the MC uncovers the Wizards and the plot between the Wizards and the EK.
He finds out the importance of the PB.
He tries to explain to the gbcg.
They laugh at him.

So, here I have to assume some things.
If the officials still have the terrorist and if they have been oblivious to what is really happening, Then they might have put spy eyes on the EK's activities and shored up security so that they know EK is not an immediate threat. You already said the gbcg doesn't believe in the Wizards.

So they could easily set up a time to go over the MC's claims, have him turn over the PB, and if they have the Terrorist, bring him out to the meeting to corroborate or dispute the MC's fantastic story--assuming the MC knows the terrorist was part of this all.

Even If the Terrorist is not available for whatever reason I think the meeting still would make sense to get the PB and maybe even try to suppress the MC's wild theories.

I assume that you will then surprise the gbcg when the Wizards attack and try to get the PB.

Your added item:
Everyone processes things differently. You should somehow show why he might process things quickly--if you know.

Oh and even if I'm way off--because there are scads of things I don't know about in your story. The answer to my questions should help you get the answer you need for your query here.
 
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shamguy4

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Your asking questions that involve revealing a lot more of the story!! I like your quick initials for everything. :) Thanks for sticking through the huge post and reading it all!

Question, does he know who he is stealing PB for and is it the Evil king or the heinous wizards or both and how much does he know?
This is important because the government has come to take him into custody and determine what to do with him.

Does anyone know for a fact that he tried to steal the PB? If so how does that work into things?


Yes the terrorist knows exactly what the PB is for. He is sent by the wizards. When he fails the wizards turn to the king and remind him its in his best interest he helps them secure the PB. The king does not fully know what the PB does. He has been slightly lied to. He sends an army to the space station. NO one knows what the terrorist came to the space station for. Just more terror. He's known for stealing priceless items.


When does the MC discover that the PB is of importance to someone?
My character is there when the terrorist is captured. He sees what the terrorist was trying to take and on further inspection, pockets it for ...various reasons. So he knows the terrorist was after this item but he does not know why.

when the space station is under fire and blowing up, the terrorist escapes, finds my main character, and they fight till my character escapes in a pod while the terrorist falls to the ground below, assumed dead...But wizards don't die easy

When does the MC discover that the PB is of importance to someone?
See above


Did EK know the gbcg was meeting on the station?

Of course.! they proudly announced everything on the news. the meeting, who would be there in their finest... With the war going on, the gbcg is trying to show they accomplished something....


Does EK even know who has the PB--that is the MC?
Nope. They are confused as to why its not in its location and are frantic. However the terrorist lets them know some dumb idiot has it and is down on the world below with it.


What happened to the Terrorist ersatz thief? Escape-Dead-still in the hands of the gbcg?[This is important for now and later, especially if he knows of both the EK and Wizards].(EK and Wizards would want him free or silenced).

He is still alive. While he is not the main antagonist, my character confronts him two more times and barely lives. The final meeting is where the main antagonist, an evil wizard, shoots the terrorist in the head for my main character... Claims he was useless in the end and is very impressed with my MC and how he has done this far. But the fun is now over. Now my MC will be dealing with the main antagonist. This is at the very end.


Do the officials and the gbcg believe they need to shore up security in light of the EK's attack?
A bit. And some officials do live. And one of them is still trying to prove his worth by finding the terrorist. While the Prime Minister is involved with the war and the attack on the space station. I am focused less on the Prime Minister and more on the official trying to find the terrorist cause he would be the one to learn about the PB...somehow... not sure how yet.
I have the official tracking the terrorist. they were able to embed a tracker. So I'm using this somehow...

You already said the gbcg doesn't believe in the Wizards.
Exactly. Thats why the EK is still the main threat for the gbcg. They refuse to believe my character at all.

There is another factor. The good wizards. they don't either take the PB because they do not know what it is and think the terrorist wanted it to sell it. This leave the PB with my character until the good wizards learn more and now they want ti from my character. Once my character gives it to them the fun is a bit over... So I am trying to keep that from them as long as possible. Either by having them need to reach my character which is difficult or just not letting them figure it out in time.


I think the meeting still would make sense to get the PB and maybe even try to suppress the MC's wild theories.
i don't have them meeting with my character. They take away the PB and lock him in an office so they can "get on with business".
I figured they would be made a fool of in some national press conference where they claim the war is almost over and we are winning... I'm just not sure how they can say that unless they massively hurt the EK. The EK is not meant to lose in this book. The evil wizards will do that later...
i planned on having a chaotic scene at the end similar to my beginning when the station is destroyed.
 
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Topher

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Sounds like a really fun story :) my first thought would be that the big meeting towards the end night be peace talks/negotiations between the govt and the 'evil king' (perhaps the evil king knows it's a bait to allow the Wizards to attack, perhaps not)? It sounds like the govt don't really believe there's a third party (the Wizards), so could put in place measures to prevent any aggression by the king at the meeting and so feel safe enough to meet?

Sorry if that doesn't make sense, it's possible I missed a crucial detail in your account!
 

shamguy4

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Sorry if that doesn't make sense, it's possible I missed a crucial detail in your account!
There's no right or wrong here! All ideas are welcome.
I don't see the EK coming to any terms with them in any way shape or form, even as a trick. And if the EK is captured himself, the evil wizards probably wont need him once they get the PB and I am not ready for the EK to go just yet. I need him in a position of power for future work.
 

shamguy4

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Still haven’t figured this out but I’ve decided to just start writing and hope something clicks on my brain as I do.
I’ve been plotting for too long and the book needs to be written!!
 

msstice

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Write your ending first
I think there should be some qualification to this. In your outline, as you start, I believe you should have a well defined ending point.
I have bits and pieces of the ending laid out, I have these in my outline notes like I have them for all the other scenes/chapters.
However, I don't know if I would actually write the last chapter first.

I've found that my writing style is non-linear. I will write chapters in succession, then jump ahead, skipping chapters, then go back to the start and so on. I feel this to be a natural way for me as I understand my own story better as I actually write it.

I would, however, not write the last chapter until I get within striking distance of it with the rest of the writing because I would suspect that is the part of my story most likely to change wildly in terms of details.
 
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