Saturday, 8 May 2010

The End!!

overcast, windy, rainy = Oh, who cares!!!

I finished the first draft!!!!

All that light from your candles worked - yay! Thank you. What a relief. But what a long day. Finally finished just before midnight. I was determined to finish yesterday, or bust. Almost busted.

I started at 8:30am and without breaks for lunch or dinner (ate beside the laptop) - only to walk Trudy a couple of times - I finished at 11:38pm.

The end is often very difficult to write...not only are there loads of red herrings and mis-directions and sub-plots to address, but there's also the issue of how and when everything is revealed. You've invested any amount of time reading the book - spent money - invested emotionally as well, so the end needs to be perfect. Fitting. Believable. Satisfying. Right.

So over and over and over I went. The same territory. One thing became clear...one of the subplots needs to go. It's not necessary and it just makes the ending all the more cumbersome. Indeed, a whole lot becomes clear once I reach the end. What is clear is...I've Finished!!!! Well, the first draft, but for me, that's always the hardest. I actually like editing. My first drafts are always messes too...there're a lot of names I need to change, stuff to streamline...everything is much clearer to me now.

But I sure wasn't going to sleep until I'd written The End, even if I had to pull a Hamlet and kill em all off...to be resurrected in another edit. I didn't - of course. And I know the end still isn't right, but I trust now that by the time this book gets into your hands it will be as it should be. Perhaps not as everyone would want it, but the book I meant to write.

phewww...

Will now take 2 weeks to de-stress. Though the next day or so, including today, is packed with stuff that's piled up and been left undone. Emails to answer, things to mail, all sorts of details that need attending to. Drove across to Vermont to do a mailing this morning. And realized something, as I waited at the US customs line - I'm very hurt that not once has anyone failed to recognize me from my passport photo. I look like Mussolini, on the meat hook, and the guards always look at it, look at me and wave me through. Damn.

Visited Markus briefly today...he's fitting in well, playing with the other horses. Jana is taking great care of him. Just need now to find him his permanent home. We have a home all picked out, with a great rider and terrific woman, but haven't got the okey-dokey from the rescue network.

Thank you again for all your support through the last couple months. I began the book in snow - and now the lilac are out...and you've stuck with me through it all. I figure when a first draft is finished I'm about 2/3rds done. A second draft, then edits, then smoothing...then off to my agent...

Phew.... I wish I could explain how this feels. A relief...an amazement...trying not to worry that it isn't right yet...I know it will be. Mostly I'm almost sick with excitement at the thought of sitting in front of the fireplace tomorrow, with a newspaper, a book and a cafe au lait....and just reading. What could be better?

21 comments:

Dana said...

Oh Louise, congratulations! You don't know how difficult it is to READ the end of your books. I read slower and slower, hoping to prolong the pleasure. It is great to know that when I begin Bury Your Dead a new book will be just around the corner.

Darlene said...

Bouquets to you, Louise! Brava! It's so great to be able to follow you on this journey. Thanks for letting us all be a part of it. Take a break!

Reen said...

That is great! I am really happy for you. More for us, though!

Linda said...

Louise,
Congrats - again! I so admire your discipline and stamina! Thanks for sharing with us. You deserve a relaxing get-away.

Shelagh, from Michigan said...

Wonderful news, Louise, for you and for us. I bet Trudy is wagging her tail with happiness!

Enjoy tomorrow in front of the fire with a book, a newspaper, cafe au lait, and...fig newtons!

Hugs, Shelagh

Cece said...

Fantastic feeling, so enjoy it.

Jeanine said...

"So over and over and over I went." This is why you win all those awards ... including THREE Agathas in a row. And the fact that you are so determined to give your readers their money's worth and be sure that they feel they were fairly rewarded for the time they invested in reading your book says it all. Thank you for letting us see what hard work really goes into writing a bestselling book.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read it. I know it will be a long time but it is something to savor.

Caroline (Melbourne) said...

Positively heard you heave that sigh!!! Sounds like you've got to the end of the hilly bit of your marathon and you've turned for home! God speed! SOOOO can't wait to benefit from all your hard work!!!!! :)

Linda said...

Your genuine concern for your readers combined with your extraordinary talent are the reasons that your books are so loved and win awards. I have Bury Your Dead on pre-order and am thrilled that there will be another soon.

By the way, I know what you mean about your passport photo. The last time I used mine the man said; "Yep, that looks like you." and I wanted to smack him.

Linda

Bev Stephans said...

Congratulations on coming to the end of your first draft. The relief must be enormous. Good luck on the editing. May it all fall into place for you.

Bev Stephans said...

Congratulations on coming to the end of your first draft. The relief must be enormous. Good luck on the editing. May it all fall into place for you.

Bev Stephans said...

I don't know why my comment came up twice. The first time I was told that I had entered the security characters wrong. I re-entered them and hit submit and this is what happened. Sounds like a mystery, "The Case of the Double Comment"!

Bev Stephans said...

For some reason, my comment came up twice. Heavy mystery!

Sue Mom of Two said...

I'm like Dana.....I hate to see the end of your books coming up.....even if I do need to find out "who dun it" ....because then I have to wait FOREVER for the next book.

Thanks for sharing with us all of the real WORK that goes into writing your wonderful books.

ovidiayu said...

Bravo Bravo Bravo :)... can't wait to get my hands on it!!!!

Jodi said...

Bravo! Felicitations!

gilles said...

NOUS POSSEDONS DES MILLIERS DE ROMANS ET C'EST LA PREMIERE FOIS QUE NOUS ENTENDONS PARLER DE VOUS.NOUS FERONS NOTRE PREMIER ACHAT AUJOURD'HUI MEME, NOUS VOUS DONNERONS DES NOUVELLES DE NOS LECTURES.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all - including Bev, Bev, Bev and Bev...

That's a riot - thank you Bev or spending most of your Saturday trying to figure it out - and you were successful all along. As you know, I admire perseverance.

Thank you for your sighs too! I just feel so embraced.

Ahhh.

Louise Penny Author said...

Cher Gilles,

Merci - j'attends vos nouvelles.

LJ Roberts said...

I am ready to contact Brome Lake Books and order my copy. Can't wait.