I don’t know about other writers, but for me, the very end of a book is murder. And not in the fun, I-write-murder-mysteries-&-get-to-kill-off-a-different-character-in-every-other-chapter way, either. :crazy
You know that joke about “every time I think I’ll make ends meet, someone up & moves the ends”? That totally applies to my writing process! Every time I get near The End of a story, someone always seems to come in & move it farther away. Without fail, the “last chapter” of whatever I’m working on takes me at least a month, maybe more. And that’s a month more than I’m expecting or have planned for—for what I think should only be one lousy chapter!
Unfortunately, what I know just has to be my “last chapter” usually stretches out into two, three, even four more. This time around, with the end of MUST LOVE VAMPIRES, I think it was more like five or six.
I don’t even know how that’s possible, except that I’m apparently not a very good judge of how much space it takes to wrap things up. Which probably shouldn’t be too surprising, since I’m not very good at guessing how many gumballs are in a jar, either. Could be six, could be six million; I have no concept of age or numbers. :ouch
Or maybe I ramble a little too much, finding a way to turn a nice, succinct three-scene chapter into more like ten. Of each.
Now, considering that I tend to be a “short” writer—& no, I’m not talking about my diminutive height, thankyouverymuch—that’s probably a good thing. It gives a little more meat to stories that would otherwise come in under my required word count.
But still, every single time I near the end of a book, those last hundred pages sneak up & knock me for a total loop. I can see The End in sight…I can feel that I’m going to be done soon…I think they’ll whiz by & I’ll have the book done in another week or two, tops. Ha! It’s like slogging through quicksand or running in place—no matter how fast or how much I write, I never seem to make any headway. And how those last hundred pages manage to turn into a thousand, I’ll never know, but it certainly feels that way. Every. Single. Time.
So take my word for it. It is much, much easier to know for sure when you’ve only got a hundred more pages of a book to read :cantputdown than when you think you’ve only got a hundred more pages of one to write! :smash
Me & guess-timating? Not a good mix, whether we’re talking word count or gumballs. :faint
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