I have been writing pretty much night and day since July 28th to take Alpha Mom from fifty pages of notes, scenes and ideas into a 550 page manuscript. Essentially I spent the past month writing a chapter a day with a few extra days thrown in at the end for editing and revision.
A week ago I had an ending for the book but wasn’t quite ready for the end. Instead I plotted out the final 6-7 chapters and wrote pieces here and there, writing forwards, backwards, writing until the story became coherent.
The only negative was that the ending when I actually got there, didn’t work. So I pulled apart Chapters 18-22 and tried again, coming up with a different 23 and then a 24. But once I was back at chapter 24 the ending didn’t work this way, either. So I wrote a new ending but that didn’t feel right.
I went back and edited from the beginning, making line edits, tightening scenes, cutting out other scenes hoping that as I wrote I’d figure out the one, the right, the perfect end.
Today, I was back at chapter 23 and 24 wondering if I would ever end a book that must be sent out Labor Day night so my editor has it on her desk Tuesday morning. I spent the day writing, thinking I have a book but no ending.
It’s an exhausting way to write. And it’s not that I haven’t been trying but I needed an ending that was just right, one that is exactly what these characters needed. I didn’t want it forced on them, didn’t want a resolution stemming from external change but internal.
And finally, tonight, after nine hours at the computer, I had an ending. It was far more simple than I expected. It was also right.
Maybe it’ll need tweaks. Maybe it’ll demand an additional scene or two somewhere in that last chapter (yes, I ended up writing a chapter 25 today) but at least there is an end. At least I have said what I needed to say in this book. And maybe that’s when a book should end. When the characters have taken the journey they needed to take.