Monday, September 22, 2008

Saying Goodbye to Friends

Yesterday, I reached page 280 in my current WIP. Page 280 was my goal. I intended to type THE END. I didn't of course. Instead, I looked at the clock, noticed that it was eleven (two hours past what time I usually go to bed) and went to bed. Today, probably within the next hour, I will finish Fugitive Family (Love Inspired Suspense August 2009)

Ending a book is a bittersweet moment. See, for months, those characters have been with me. They've sat in the car and told me things like, "You're not keeping us together enough." Lisa, my heroine, pouted because maybe I made her a bit too innocent. Greg insisted that I let more time pass by between the death of his wife and his first encounter with Lisa.

Truthfully, Greg and Lisa are the first people I say good morning to and they're the people who send me off to bed.

During the writing of a book, for the author, the characters practically live and breath.

I'm at the end of this book. For the next week, I'll edit. I'm pretty sure I'm going to listen to Greg and put more time. Poor Lisa, she 'is' innocent. But that what makes the ending all the more suspenseful. And, as for their being apart too much. Well, they think about each other a lot.

Next Monday, my characters will board a FED EX plane and fly to New York. In a way, it's like best friends (who live next door) moving out of state. For a while, I'll think about them every day. But, then new friends move in. I already know my next neighbors. Their names are Tamara and Vince. Soon, they'll sit with me in the car or walk with me at work or even interrupt me in the shower with their suggestions (naggings!)

In about three months Greg and Lisa will return for a visit. They'll have changed (Thanks to the copy editor) and they'll change even more during the visit (Thanks to what the editor tells me to do). It will be a different relationship. We won't be as comfortable as before. They'll stay awhile and just as I'm getting comfortable with them (and while Tamara and Vince are tapping their feet and huffing because I'm not spending time with them), it will be time for them to return to New York.

A month later, they'll come back again. They won't stay long. The changes won't be so noticeable. We'll sit down for a visit (called line edit) and then they'll be off again.

I know that my last visit from Greg and Lisa will be August. They won't be coming for an exclusive visit with me. No, they'll spend time in lots of places (think book stores). They'll be dressed in their best and it will cost money (almost four dollars) just to spend time with them.

Well, I can spend time with them for free, but truthfully, I'll hardly recognize them. By that time I'll be mourning the loss of Tamara and Vince.


Margaret Daley said...

Ending a book is both a sad and happy time. I just finished my July book for next year, and I was elated that I would get it in on time and sad to say good-bye to the characters.

PamelaTracy said...

This is my August book for next year. I'm mailing it Monday. I'll edit for the next few days, go ahead and write the dedication and the book club questions. Then, I need to get three chapters done for the next one. They're due October 15th.
And, my, my, you're up late or is it early!