What I'm reading: Pride and Pleasure, by Sylvia Day.
Yesterday, the contractor told us that he'd requested the final electrical inspection, which is independent of the final inspection. Given that there was, in my mind, still work to be done, I wondered if he was trying to move too fast.
Sure enough, the inspector found four basic omissions which will have to be corrected. These seemed to be relatively obvious and simple things an electrician should know, but given that it's his job, and the job of the contractor to make sure everything meets code, I'm not going to fret. (After all, I'm the one holding the checkbook.)
When we're writing, we have to make sure we conform to the "code" of our stories. Whether we're aware of them or not, we're making promises to the reader. Just like the electrician promises a safe house, an author promises the reader that everything in the story will hold together.
I wrote the first scene of chapter 33 in my manuscript the other day, before getting "sidetracked" by digitizing things for All Romance eBooks. (Which, by the way, now includes 3 more choices.)
With my WIP at a Word count of almost 98K, it's time to wrap things up. I realized the brick wall I thought I'd run into was only there because the book was technically over. The mystery/suspense threads had been resolved. My heroine was safe. This isn't a book with international bad guys who might show up at any time. It was time to resolve the romance threads and get the heck out.
For me, writing effective endings is one of the hardest parts of writing a book. First there's the, "I've spent so much time with these characters, I don't want to leave them," syndrome. Then there's the, "If I finish this, what will I do next?" because I don't have the precursor to this book under contract, so is it worth writing yet another in this series? And the real question. "How can I write something that will satisfy the reader, but make them want more." Riding off into the sunset doesn't cut it anymore.
So, it became too easy to procrastinate. However, given that this is only the first draft, I don't have to leave my characters. And it'll be some time before I have to deal with what to write next. Leaving, of course that "make it good" issue, but again, this is just the draft.
And as I go through it again, I'll be thinking about that electrician. I don't want to leave things unfinished. When I write, I tend to put in things I'm not sure I'll need, but I want to make sure the story flows. I find it's much easier to cut than to add, since I really work hard at keeping things tight. By putting something on the page, you're telling the reader it's important, so if I'm not going to use it, then I need to cut it, not leave a reader hanging, wondering what that redhead was doing in chapters three and seven, never to be seen again.
My crit partners have been my inspectors as I've written each chapter. Rather than waiting until it's finished, I've had flaws and omissions pointed out to me along the way. Now it's time to write that closing scene, and then get going on my final inspection.
Tomorrow, thanks to my mom, we've got another field trip.