So, Deb Kerry talked about not enjoying the process of writing endings in this week’s post, and Dana’s mentioned that too now. Well, guess what–I love it. My first drafts tend to be super-short, so writing endings feels a little like rolling down a hill. With a huge boulder right on my tail, Indiana Jones style. I’m writing like mad away from all the plot threads I know I’ll have to pick up later, plus by page 300, the characters are so independent and bossy that I’m just praying I can slam them all into a paddock and then lock up the gate before they notice I’m not in there with them anymore.
And then there is that blessed “I’M DONE” moment after the last word. And the week or six I take off from doing anything useful after the first draft’s written. And the celebratory pepperoni and pineapple pizza to wash down that last page.
After I finished THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS OF SHIPWRECK LANE I ran through the house pumping my fists up and down like Rocky. I called people who hadn’t heard from me in years. I returned ancient emails. I did laundry. Just kidding. It takes more than that for me to do laundry.
If I should ever finish another book (full disclosure: actually have written one or maybe two since GOOD LUCK GIRLS. Practice makes perfect, you know… ) the celebration on finishing the last one versus this one is going to look like the difference between a little girl’s tea party and a college kegger. I’m going to go on some sort of elaborate vacation, like Disneyland or Mt. Vesuvius. I’m going to buy fireworks, which are legal here in the wilds of Wisconsin, and shoot them off the dock of the tiki bar across the street, which is also legal here. I’m going to hire a biplane to fly a banner over the beaches of Lake Michigan that reads “KELLY ACTUALLY FINISHED HER SECOND BOOK!” I’m going to go to the bookstore and buy every book I didn’t have time to read while I was writing this one and then I am going to put the books on my bed and roll in them (note to self: stick to paperback books). I am going to sleep and sleep and sleep.
I am going to celebrate as long and as hard as I possibly can after I write the last word of this book. Because when all those things are done, and the book has had time to sit, neglected, for a few days, a giant stack of printer paper next to my laptop full of blood, sweat, and tears, I will have to go back in and write the damn thing again.
Because writing “The End” is something I can actually do. Being truly done with a book? That, my dears, may not be possible.