Monday, December 04, 2006

The Final Chapter

Endings have a way of evoking an array of emotions.

They can leave you happy or sad. Uplifted or bitter. Full of hope or full of despair. A sense of fulfillment--or one of loss.

I started writing Leftovers so long ago I've forgotten now just how long ago. But if I checked the blog, I'd probably discover that I considered pitching it in Reno. Hell, come to think of it, I DID pitch it in Reno (August 2005!!!). At the time, I think I'd completed three chapters and I threw it out there when I discovered the editor I was pitching to had changed the parameters of what she was looking for. I remember her brows raised with interest when I summed up my storyline in one sentence. Her house didn't accept unfinished manuscripts (which I knew beforehand, but hey--like I said, she was supposed to be looking for romantic suspense) however, she gave me her card and invited me to send the manuscript when it was done.

I kept that card on my mirror for months and months...while I slogged away ever-so-slowly on this WIP. So long, in fact, that this particular editor no longer works for that house.

Voila. One wasted pitch and invitation.

Yeah, opportunity knocked...

At least she's still alive, which is more than can be said for chick lit--the genre for which Leftovers was originally intended. Ha.

So over the weekend, after the month-long NaNo frenzy, I re-visited Leftovers and found myself starting the last chapter. This is by far the "heaviest" book I've ever written, so bringing the story to a close is even harder than usual. There's this weighty sense of responsibility toward the characters--like, I wanna do RIGHT by them, y'know?

There's more of me in the heroine (Rose) than in any other character I've ever created. Which is a good thing, I suppose, but also dangerous because she's so UNlike me, too. If this book ever sees the light of day, I'm gonna have lots of 'splaining to do...starting with the dedication which will be to my very own step-mother with the strong caveat that Rose's stepmom is NOTHING like my own.

But, I digress...which is also a way of saying that as long as I keep blogging, I can avoid writing that final chapter. Avoid the array of emotions.

Then I remind myself that sometimes endings bring relief.

1 comment:

Brooke said...

I love "new beginnings"! Whether it's a new year, a new season, or a new book. There is something so fresh and exciting about the prospect of it.

I think the emotions about endings are something we can actually really control. It's all in the perspective. Sometimes we cling to the tail-end of something because we are afraid to move forward. There is something almost comforting knowing that we still have the ending of that book to finish, for example. ( think that is why Christmas is at the end of the year? For the "big bang" effect of it?...)

But for me, one must really tie up all the loose ends, get closure, and all that jazz, to really be able to move on and grab "the new beginning" with both hands.

I can't wait till you announce you've said "The End" to the current project!