(This posting originally appeared on The Melt-Ink Pot)
After writing a few difficult scenes for my current work in progress, The Daughters of August Winterbourne, I can definitely tell that I’m on the home stretch. I’ve begun the big, climactic scene, and it’s rolling along nicely. I can see the end of the story, and it’s suddenly not very far away at all.
I love this part of a story. It feels like everything I’ve spent the last several months building up has finally fallen into place, and all that’s left for me to do is to stand back and let gravity take its course. To me, it feels almost like flying, or at least gliding. The words are pouring out of my fingertips almost faster than I can catch them. Certainly my poor little keyboard has taken a pounding these last few days!
And yet … I also hate this part of a story. By the time I’ve reached this point, I feel like I’m finally really getting to know my characters, that they’ve become my friends. I’ve spent time with these people almost every single day (with one exception) since the beginning of last November. And in a few more days — maybe as little as a week — it will all be over. I will have told their story, and I will never be able to tell it for the first time again.
Oh, I know, there will be months and months of editing. And there are always the sequels I have planned. But good, bad, or indifferent, this story will be finished. If and when I write about Celia and Nicholas and Papa and Celia’s sisters again, they’ll be different characters than they were at the beginning of this story. Their adventures will have changed them, shaped them. They’ll be the same people, but different, just as their new story will be different.
Ah, well. That’s what it’s all about, right? And in the meantime…I’ve a book to finish.
How do other people approach the end of a story? Do you wax nostalgic, or are you just so glad to have it over with that you don’t even care any more?