I'm approaching the finish line on my fifth novel, as I'm sure you've heard me whine about, I mean, mention, a lot lately. You've also heard me whine about the slogging that I am going through to get the story told. (Today came in just under 2k, which makes me very happy!)
When I look back at my previous novels, I see a similar pattern. I start off well, and manage fine through the middle (except for the first novel, which didn't have a plan and didn't fare very well through ANY of the stages), but get bogged down with endings. I've been trying to figure out why that is, now that I've seen a trend. It is, after all, a trend I'd prefer to skip in the future.
So why is it? I have an outline of sorts, so I have a reasonably good idea what needs to happen. The outline is not so detailed that all the fun is gone. Is it that I am reluctant to part with these characters? Or sad to put them through the rest of the nasty stuff I have planned for them? Maybe. But I think it's that I'm afraid I'm losing some of the balls I've been juggling, that the ending can't tie everything up and give the reader that satisfied *ah* on the last page. I'm afraid I'll miss something. Or that two parts of the ending that need to be, will turn out to be mutually exclusive. Or something. I know that can be fixed in revision, but wouldn't it be better to not have to fix fundamental flaws in revision?
Your turn, if you've completed one or more first drafts. What area of the writing bogs YOU down? And have you figured out what to do about it?