Took two hours this morning to wrap my story up. It ends on Christmas Day–I really have holiday fever! It’s the greatest high in the world to finish a book, and I say this from vast experience of every sort of high you can imagine. Former experience, it must be noted. Chemically induced altered states of consciousness and writing do not go well together, as I learned way too late.
One cool thing about writing: I did not know how my story was going to end yesterday. I mean I had a vague idea of what I wanted to happen (which had only come to me yesterday, btw) but not how to make it happen. I was a little worried, but like a good NaNoer, I pushed the doubts aside and thought, “if it sucks, I’ll fix it later.” I need not have worried. As I typed, the answers came. It’s like this magic thing that happens and it’s my favorite part of writing. Well, except for finishing a first draft.
In the last beat of the last scene, I did not know what my characters were going to find when they opened their gifts to each other. I just put them next to the tree, which is when the shape of the boxes came, and I didn’t know what was in his until he opened it and then it was the perfect thing. Exactly right, tying together all the themes and things that I’ve built. And with hers, same. I still didn’t know what was in her box, but it had to be better than his and it couldn’t be a ring or any piece of jewelry for that matter. And as she opened the jeweler’s box, the perfect thing was nestled inside. Perfect!
I am still sitting here reeling from the crazy wonderfulness of it. How did I do this? How did I come up with the perfect ending and the perfect gifts? How did I even finish NaNo when I am working harder at my day job than I ever have in my life? These are the most challenging classes I’ve ever taught. And I’m still reviewing for the magazine. And it’s Christmas. And I had a 12 hour stay in an ER that put me WAY behind on everything. And I did this anyway.
I have to say, Chris Baty gets the majority of the credit. Then Martha Beck, for keeping me focused on what’s really important. Then, there’s me. But honestly, I just feel like a conduit for the girls, who have strongly indicated that novel writing is not finished with me yet.