Thursday, December 27, 2007

Rushing toward the finish line

I think it's my turn to blog, or it was yesterday. Anyway, since it's already after 1:00, I thought I'd post something since nothing has appeared here since Christmas Eve.

I have two more chapters to go before finishing this book. Yay! So I'm kind of savoring it, really putting a lot of thought into these last forty or fifty pages. And since it's the first book in a series, not everything will be wrapped up in the end except for the main story question. And yet it needs to be a standalone book. Very challenging. But fun. 8^) I hope to type "the end" by the first of the year. In other words, by next Tuesday or Wednesday.

So when you get closer to the end of a book, do you write slower, or faster? I know a lot of writers who pick up speed at the end because they're eager to be finished, or because the ending has played out in their mind for so long that they're excited to actually get the words down. So do you rush to get the end down? Do you plan to flesh it out more later so that it doesn't read so hurried, or are you confident it can stand as is? Or do you like to savor the last few pages, letting them slowly pour from your finger tips?


Alice Sharpe said...

Karen-- Good to see a new post!

I'm at the end, too. I guess I speed up because like you said, the end has been playing in my head and the words are available. But they are also difficult words lately because they count so much, so it's gone slowly this time. I am at the last two or three pages now, wrapping up this book and priming it to set up the one I will start immediately afterwards and which is the second part and it's been like pulling teeth to get it all right.

Congratulations on being so close to the end of your book and also congratulations on still being excited about it instead of sick of it. Kurt Vonnegut is quoted (or misquoted as it sounds a little awkward in its wording): "As any writer knows, the real pleasure in writing comes when the moment, when you can get rid of the manuscript, just get it out of your life, whereas painting is a continuing pleasure in the process of doing it." He was comparing writing to painting, obviously, and I have to say the more I write, the more I agree....

Karen Duvall said...

I'm getting a tiny bit tired of all these characters, but only a little. I enjoy going back and re-reading parts of the story, which just gets me more excited about reaching the end. Especially as I see how puzzle pieces that seemed vaguely important at the beginning -- pieces I wasn't even sure would stay in the book -- have become crucial to the plot. I love that.

How exciting for you, Alice, to be on the home stretch. And you're writing a continuing series, too! Cool. I've attempted two series in the past that didn't work out, or haven't worked out yet. I haven't completely given up on one of them. The other one I've lost interest in.

Alice Sharpe said...

Karen, I love it too, when little things come around for a big punch. It's so exciting and gives me faith that my wee little writer's brain is more on the ball than I knew.

My "series" is only two books, one brother, and then the other. The books are very loosely connected. I think. Oh wait, the current hero shows up in the second book. I forgot about that!

Danita Cahill said...

I think I'm more of a savor-or sort of ending writer. I rush through on the first draft, but take my sweet, juicy time on the real finish because I don't really want the story experience to end.

Danita Cahill said...

And yes, Karen, big congratulations on heading into the home stretch. That's a huge thing! Especially writing through the holidays and through your full time job.


Genene said...

Congratulations, Alice and Karen, on almost reaching "the end"! Definitely cause for celebration.

I think I speed up when I get nearer the end, just so I can savor those words, "the end." However, then I start several rounds of edits. So I'm not sure I ever reach the end. :)

I pulled an all-nighter on Christmas Eve to do "final" edits on my book that will be released in April 2008 (a month earlier than originally scheduled). These were the last edits from the publisher before this baby goes to the magic place to be turned into an e-book, so this really should be the last edits. Guess I'll just have to live with any other errors now!

Glad to hear you are still writing!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

You got it right, Karen. Wed. was Becky's old blog day and Thursday was yours, so you're all good. FWIW, Becky's old days are completely open, so if anyone feels inspired to post on those days, go for it. ;)

I generally hit a slow patch at the 3/4 mark of a book, when I'm at that point where I can see most of the end but have to figure out how some of those loose threads all weave together. Once that happens though, the end is a blur of writing.

Congrats on being so close to the end! I'm completely jealous because you have been in a writing frenzy the last few weeks and I've done zippo. And I'm excited to hear how the end works out as I'm working on a book right now that will be stand alone but has the potential of a series, so when I get closer to the end, I may be looking to you for advice. ;)

Karen Duvall said...

LOL, Elizabeth. 8^) I hit a slow patch at the 3/4 point, too. That's when I need to jot down little scene notes to make sure things are coming together right at the end. I do savor the ending pages, though, so that they don't come out rushed, which I'm prone to do in the midst of my excitement to finish.

I know exactly how book two starts, so ending this first one will be tricky. The hero sacrifices himself at the end of this book (he turns into a gargoyle to save the heroine's life), and the beginning of the second book starts with the heroine's plan to save him (reverse the change and make him human again). So ending this first one will be tricky, but it will end with the reader knowing the hero can be saved. The first book's story goal is for the heroine to free herself of the gargoyle's curse, which she does with the hero's help, and some collateral damage.

Karen Duvall said...

Ack, Eli! I put a "z" in your name. So sorry!

Paty Jager said...

I'm coming onto the 3/4 point of the book I'm working on and I was picking up steam until I had company show up.

I think I tend to speed up after 1/2 way in a book.