This is what it feels like to write “The End” on my third novel. I see the entire thing clearly and am delighted by the ending. I’m ready to put it aside for a month or two.
Long enough that I can see the faults in my star. Then I’ll revise for a few months and pass it to betas. But right now, I just want to bask in the completeness of the story.
And this week, I’m taking a break.
Ten pounds of stress drained out of my neck on Monday afternoon when I realized that’s my ending. And the first draft is dunzo!
This is the book that refused to adhere to my outline. Each chapter was hijacked by the characters.
It was a terribly fret-filled and heart-jerking writing experience.
And it required an act of pure faith. To put aside what I thought should happen and let the characters tell me what happened.
I never had any idea how the book would end until I typed it. This was a source of massive writer anxiety. It was like driving on an unfamiliar road in complete fog. I could only see a few feet in front of me and never had any idea what was around the bend. Half the time I thought the book would careen off a cliff. The other half, I was sure we’d end up wrapped around a tree.
And it’s one of those things you don’t tell many people. Because saying it makes it too real. So I shared it with my crit partner but otherwise tried to keep it inside.
The last 15K were the hardest of my life to draft. I didn’t know where I was going. Because I wasn’t leading. I was being tugged along by the characters and made to tell the story as it happened to them.
And when I took that first breath after typing “The End” I knew this was how the book had to end. This was the only way the story could be told. And I felt that rush of joy in knowing I captured their story as they wanted it.