As of less than five minutes ago, I wrote the last sentence in my current book.
It's always an odd feeling, finishing one of these things. The ending never feels strong enough. Is everything that needs to be resolved taken care of? Are there massive dangling plot threads? Have I planted that sequel hook firmly enough into the readers that they'll want to know what happens next? Too much to consider, when all I really want to do right now is have a strong drink and watch a Disney movie.
Hey, I don't get on you for how you deal with writing a downer ending.
In a way, that's really how it is for this book. In most everything else I've written, things get wrapped up pretty neatly at the end. The heroes achieve their goals, the antagonists get killed or defeated or driven away, and everyone celebrates, smiles, hugs, and/or kisses over the last few paragraphs. Not in this book.
I went over my plot points before last night's writing session, and remembered that the main protagonist had to do something truly horrible to bring the story to its end. And it's even a phyrric victory, considering the destruction - both personal and property - wreaked by the antagonists.
I didn't want the story to end like that. But I knew I had to.
In a way, this feels like the most mature story that I've written, possibly ever. The characters feel more real, the plot feels tighter and better orchestrated, and the consequences feel more long- and deep-reaching. I still have a lot of editing to do; there's a pile of folded-up pages from a small yellow notepad sitting here on my desk, all story ideas I frantically scribbled down while at work. Tomorrow, I'm going to go through them and see what I implemented already and what changes I need to make.
And then, I'm going to let this sit for a month or so before getting back to it. With any luck, I'll have a readable version by the end of August, to hand out to my pre-readers. I have three people willing to read it so far, which is a great start. And then we'll see how this one goes. I have a lot of faith in it right now, but only time will tell if it's justified.
The title of the book is The Accidental Warlock. It's a YA Fantasy about a young woman who discovers she's been planned since birth to be the new body of an ancient demon. She's also falling, hard, for her brother's would-be betrothed. Her fun is just beginning, trust me.
Next entry: on digging up an old, abandoned manuscript and why I think it could be something the growing New Adult category needs.