Normally when you’d hear or read those words, it’s not in a positive context.
To a writer though, The End are two of the sweetest words they can put to paper. Well, I’m sure “best” and “selling” top the list, but since that’s something you can’t control, my favorite words are “the” and “end”.
Why? Because it means I’ve completed another story. Oh sure, it may not seem so monumental to the reader. Hell, as a reader, I breeze through books like there’s no tomorrow and look for more. As a reader, I never want the story to end. But as a writer, it’s like a huge weight being lifted from my shoulders.
I’ve been working on this story on and off for several months. The characters were stubborn as all get out. They didn’t want to open to me. In fact, at the beginning, I started out with completely different characters, but once I figured out this story was about Zach and Colette, I went with it. Slowly. Painfully slow. Which is not my usual speed when it comes to writing. I thought the end would come a couple of weeks ago, but it turned out once I broke the shell my characters had around themselves, they had a lot to say. The 48k story turned into a 58k story turned into a 68k story and then ended at 79k.
Yowsa. But I can’t even begin to explain the sheer joy I felt when I wrote The End in bold letters. The. End. I threw my arms in the air and did a whole “whoo-hoo” thing, except that wasn’t enough. I needed to…jump to my feet and run around the house. My dog barked at me. I swear it’s because I startled her, not because I was singing. I picked up fat cat who was sleeping and sang to her as well. But throughout it all, this sense of elation, of complete happiness and relief drowned out any sense of goofiness. I wasn’t embarrassed by my actions. I didn’t care that I was acting like a kid on the last day of school.
I’d hit The End.
And what better way to celebrate than to sing this:
Ah, bliss. Le sigh.
Of course it isn’t really over. This story is starting its metamorphosis from a rough draft to a polished work. It has to go through the critique gauntlet and then revisions and then more revisions before I can send it to my editor. From there, it’s weeks until I know whether they’ll take it or not. *fingers crossed* But if things work out well, if the story is as good as I think it is, it should be brought to full life in early summer. I hope. Until then though, I’ll be working hard at the other stories that have been waiting their turn to be written. And there are a lot. Trust me.
So next time I’m griping because it takes so long to get my hands on a new book by one of my favorite authors…yeah, I’m going to read this blog post and kick my own ass. It takes time to birth a novel, y’all. Honest.
What stories are you impatiently waiting for? Or what stories do you have backing up your work load?