Do you know the feeling? I’m sitting at the computer, and the little cursor thing is blinking—as if it’s sneering at me. “Yeah? What are you going to do now?”
(It crosses my mind that this is why they call them cursors.)
Because, dear pals, I am about 3000 words away from the end of my new book. (In Hank-world, that probably translates to about 5000 words, but that’s another blog.)
And 3000 words from the end does not seem like that much, I suppose, how many pages is that? 12? (Okay, I’m farther away than 12 pages.)
But suddenly, I feel the urge to, oh, clean my closets. Reline my kitchen cabinets with new shelf paper. Arrange my spices in alphabetical order. ANYTHING but writing the end of the book.
So. Why is this? You might think the beginning would be the most difficult…after all, beginning anything is difficult. And beginning a book means you’ve found that wonderful nugget of an idea that will carry an entire novel. Nothing is more difficult than that.
And yes, that first line, that’s tough. And such a joy when you find it. But that part was fine. I found my story, and I loved it. Love it. I do.
The middle’s hard, too. Entire books have been written about ‘the muddle in the middle,’ that middle half of the book where you have to juggle the characters, and make sure it’s not just a here-they-come-there-they-go lit of visits to various suspects and a series of setbacks and disasters an challenges. But this book, it didn’t seem like it had a “middle.” It was just a good juicy story and I powered through it. It was interesting and fun and even surprising to me from time to time.
And there I was a 6000 words, then 16000 words, then 60000 words, and then…80, 90, 100, 000 words. Now it’s too long , and the story is not over.
But okay, fine, I think. That’s a good problem. Cutting is better than creating, and cutting is even fun.
But here’s the problem. I have no idea how this book ends.(It’s the sequel to THE OTHER WOMAN, called THE WRONG GIRL.) I could write the end, I could, if I knew it. But I’m a pantser, and just barrel along with the story, seeing what happens and enjoying it (mostly) along the way.
Still there comes the moment where you have to –as my mom used to say—fish or cut bait. You have to reveal the bad guy. I wish I knew who did it, I say to Jonathan. “You don’t?” He looks at me as if that can’t be true. Yup, I mean, nope, I have no idea.
Now just between us, that’s only mostly true. I have SOME idea. I do. But I know I could be wrong.
SO there’s where I should be, at the computer, letting the end show me what it is. And it will. It has to, right? I have a deadline, and so does it.
It could be I’m a little sad, to face that it’s going to be over. I admit, I do feel the tears prickling a bit thinking about nearing the end. It’s an adventure, after all, a world I created from nothing. And that’s very exciting. It’ll also be exciting to type “the end.” Soon. Very very soon.
Do you have trouble with your endings? Readers, can you tell that we struggle?
And to celebrate endings and beginnings-- here’s a special offer! I’m giving away a your choice of a Kindle, a Nook, or a hundred dollar gift certificate to the bookstore of your choice! Just click here for details! http://hankphillippiryan.com/newsletter-7-12.html