I am inches away from writing “The End” on the first draft of my new book.
This is a very strange place. While the rest of the book can pretty much be fixed in the rewrite, this ending has to be just right, which means it will be written and rewritten at least a dozen times before I consider this first draft to be finished. And when I go through it all with a second draft, this ending will be rewritten some more.
I think there are less than ten pages left to go, and I’d like to get this done before this time next week. With every book, though, I discover that the end is closer than I think (I guess that’s true in the greater scheme of things, too). Usually, it surprises me. I’m all geared up to write the next twenty pages, and then I realize, “Oh! I’m already there!” and the book is finished.
This particular book has been stewing for more years than I care to admit. It has been interrupted by many projects, and in fact, a few other books that took priority. I have two others like that in my desk drawer. Those may or may not ever see the light of day. But this one… well, I’m ten pages from the end.
And then I’ll let it sit for two weeks, or more likely a month, as I have a busy January scheduled, and then I’ll write a second draft. That won’t take long. Rewriting the second draft is the reward for sweating it out through the first draft. By the end of the second draft, I’ll know I have a solid story, and good characters. Then I’ll let sit for a couple of weeks, read it through, and spruce it up. I have a checklist for the final draft. A blog for another day.
I’ve done this so many times that I know my process, and I know what works for me.
It’s hard not to get ahead of myself. I’m excited about the ending of this book, but I can’t get too excited. There is much work to be done between now and the time I write “The End”.
It will come soon, but I can’t let it come too soon.