Alphabet Blogging Challenge Day 26

It’s day 26 – the last day – of my September blogging challenge.

The letter is Z

and the word is ZENITH

In astronomy, the word ‘zenith’ relates to a point in the sky directly above a given position or observer. Colloquially, it is used to describe the highest point or state, or a peak. So, it seemed fitting to choose it today for the last day of the alphabet challenge. I’ve made it!

It’s also relevant as the final stages of a novel must rise to a peak second only to the opening pages in importance. As the novel builds to its climax, readers’ sense of momentum will increase. Celia Brayfield describes them as ‘gasping for the final scenes’.

During the course of a novel, the main character has undertaken a journey which will have made emotional and psychological demands – possibly physical ones too, depending on the genre – and readers have shared this journey. They can sense the peak (zenith) is near, and the pace of their reading accelerates in order to reach it sooner. The pace of the narrative needs to be finely judged at this stage in order to maximise the impact of the climax.

At the climax, the focus needs to narrow, to be on one character, one story-line and the one event that will finally demonstrate the theme of the novel.

The challenge of the ending is to create power without bulk, to write simply but with tremendous force. The emotions of the central character are a key factor to achieving this. The reader has lived the whole story on an emotional plane and is seeking a peak experience at the end, a catharsis, a complete discharge of the immense feelings which the narrative has aroused. (Celia Brayfield)

The final day of the alphabet blog, and I’ve enjoyed it hugely – the creativity and challenge offered by each letter has been fascinating – but I’m also relieved! It’s been more difficult and time-consuming than I had imagined. However, I planned the blog  as a way to kick-start my writing, and it has been MORE than successful. I’ve written more than 15, 000 words for the blogs during the month(3/4 chapters’ worth of my novel), a new short story, reworked and extended another short story, as well as an article for ‘The Self Publishing Magazine’.

Thank you to everyone who has read the alphabet blog, and especial thanks to people who have written comments. I really appreciate your time and input – it’s been lovely to receive them and know someone is reading the posts! Hope you have found them interesting.

And now, I’m off for some: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

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14 Comments

  1. Helen says:

    Congratulations on reaching your zenith – the last letter! I’ve enjoyed reading every one and will miss them. Hope you will keep on blogging, but perhaps without the pressured schedule! Enjoy your zzzzz – you’ve earned them.

  2. I feel really sad that it’s over! You’ve done a great job, Lindsay – and I’ll say it again about the ebook idea. You deserve a month off (but I doubt you’ll get it!) x

  3. Lindsay says:

    Thanks, Helen. Glad you’ve enjoyed them – I’ve enjoyed writing them, even though some days were nmore difficult than others, and not only because of the letters involved! I’ve written yesterday and today’s looking out over the Hamoaze, a stretch of water between Devon and Cornwall. I’ll definitely keep blogging, and I need to keep the same sort of motivation going for my novel.

  4. Lindsay says:

    Thanks, Jo. I’ve enjoyed writing them, and in a strange way, I feel sad too! I might pursue the ebook idea – but I would probably plague you for your expertise, so you might regret suggesting it!

  5. Derek Taylor says:

    Congratulations Lindsay! This has been a tour de force. Assembled, the 26 would make a pocket guide for all aspiring novelists.

  6. Lynne Powell says:

    Very good Lindsay! I have enjoyed these enormously

  7. Lindsay says:

    Thanks, Derek. It has been fun(!) doing them. Someone else has also suggested putting them together in some form, perhaps an ebook.

  8. Lindsay says:

    Glad you’ve enjoyed them, Lynne. I’ve enjoyed writing them – although some days have been more of a challemge than others!

  9. Christine says:

    Well done and I loved the way you tied it all up at the end! I’m interested that you’ve found this has stimulated your writing in other areas. Perhaps the act of engaging the mind in any type of writing, on a regular basis, is the key to increasing productivity. I’d been absent from the online writing forum I belong to but have recently gone back to it. I’ve found myself being more productive, having more ideas, going back to short stories and spotting what’s wrong with them. And all from making the occasional contribution to a post! Got to be good.
    Enjoy your break. Missed you this morning!

  10. Lindsay says:

    Thanks, Christine. Glad you enjoyed the ‘zenith’! On the increased productivity, I suppose it’s the same as any activity, the more you do it, the easier it gets. It would probably apply to weight-lifting – if you were so inclined! As well as increased productivity, I was interested to find that I couldn’t let myself miss a day, no matter what other demands there were, which led to posting one of them at 11.55 pm! That’s what I want to take back to my novel.

  11. Glenis says:

    Very impressive and you stuck it through to the end – not really surprised about that seeing as how it’s you!

  12. Lindsay says:

    Thanks, Glenis, although I haven’t made the progrees with my new novel that I would have liked. I managed to get through the alphabet challenge to the end, although by the skin of my teeth some days – I posted at 11.55 pm one day! Now, I want to apply that to my novel. Interested to hear how you get on with your 1000 a day commitment.

  13. Donna says:

    A bit late as I’ve been on holiday, but well done Lindsay. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blogs as a non-writer and seeing the thought processes you go through. xx

  14. Lindsay says:

    Thanks, Donna. It’s good to know they’ve been of interest to non-writers too, and I’m glad you’ve enjoyed them.

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