Not quite finished, but I figured out the ending

So, last night I wrote the last scene I had in mind for TARASHANA. I instantly realized that this was not actually the last scene of the book. I don’t know why I didn’t realize that before I got there. I think I may have been too focused on the overall coolness of that scene and thus could not look at the broader picture until I had that scene written.

Anyway, I wrote this neat scene and then I looked at the computer screen for several minutes. Hmm, I said. This is not the end.

I thought about this for, I don’t know, thirty seconds. Then I said, Well, Pippa thinks it’s bedtime (It was seven thirty) (I know, yes), so I guess we’ll go downstairs and the dogs can go to sleep and I’ll read a bit more of the Touchstone trilogy. (I’m getting close to the end of the second book, but most of my time is devoted to other things right now, so I’m really only reading at bedtime.)

Then I woke up at three thirty, which is pretty much morning for me because my alarm is set for four (I KNOW, all right? My schedule is totally offset from the schedule of any normal person right now, but I really like having a long morning in which to write before it’s time to go to work. I’ll adjust back to a more normal schedule during Christmas Break.) I lay there thinking about TARASHANA, which is how I like to spend those minutes before the alarm clock goes off — I almost never sleep all the way to the alarm — and almost at once it occurred to me that I should absolutely do (A) and (B) and ooh, (C), and then I would have a great ending for this story.

So I’m not quite finished, but it’s fine! My subconscious did its job, thankfully, so I will be ready to write The End for TARASHANA in another couple of days.

No one will see it before Christmas, sorry, but you are all probably too busy anyway, right? I already see some things I need to do:

a) I believe I will replace one minor character with a different minor character. What a pity I did not realize the other minor character would be a more appropriate choice at the beginning, but there it is.

b) I will remove a scene that gives too much away too early. I may remove all or nearly all of that chapter, which would be fine because this is going to be a super long draft.

c) I will smooth out some continuity details in the last part of the book, basically from the climax on to nearly the end, and at this point let me add that there are exactly two reasons I ever, ever put anything in boldface in a novel draft: (a) I want to switch that word or phrase to a different language, but don’t want to take time for that now; or (b) I know perfectly well there is a continuity issue that I need to address involving whatever that is.

100% of Copper Mountain readers pointed to a specific boldfaced thing in the final draft and said, Are you sure you want this to be bolded? Thank you all for catching that and no, I never, ever want anything to be bolded in the final draft. That was supposed to be in Spanish or unbolded, whichever I decided on.

d) I will do some trimming. It’s fine with me if the book winds up long, but seriously, this is REALLY long right now. At least one person is going to get a quite long version with a specific request to say “Bored now” whenever she starts skimming.

After that, I will send the real actual first draft to a couple more of you and ask you to tear it apart, although by the way positive comments are highly welcome and quite motivating. After THAT I will do final revisions and ask for proofreaders to scour the manuscript for however many ridiculously obvious typos may be left at that point.

I’m thinking I will aim for roughly early summer 2021 as the release date. Earlier would be fine, but I don’t want to stress myself out by imposing an unnecessarily tight deadline.

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6 thoughts on “Not quite finished, but I figured out the ending”

  1. Yesss. I am terribly excited for this and for the portal-fantasy-aftermath story mentioned a little while back. (Greetings from a long-time lurker.) Can’t wait for next year!

  2. Hi, Maigen! Thanks for unlurking long enough to make an enthusiastic comment! I really hope you love both! I am now waiting with a certain amount of trepidation to see how my first readers respond to that portal/aftermath fantasy.

  3. Hope it works out!

    (Such things make me nervous because A Diabolical Bargain snuck up on me posing as a novelette and twice told me that something wasn’t actually the end only when I had written it.)

  4. Pretty sure I’ve got the real ending right here, Mary, but you are SO RIGHT that it’s impossible to be sure until you type the last sentence and look at it for a minute and finally think, Yep, that’ll do. Sometimes that very last sentence can take a while!

  5. I’m already looking forward to your reactions to this one, Mary Beth — I hope I’m right that you’ll like it! I particularly want your take on the scene I thought was the ending but turned out not to be.

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