Saturday, September 15, 2007


The day before finishing is exhilarating. No matter how many stories I finish, I’m always afraid that I won’t finish. It doesn’t matter that I’ve finished all of them. There’s always that fear.

Well, the day I finish?

There’s relief. I close the lid of the laptop, relieved, exhausted.

And that’s when panic starts setting in. Is it too this? Did I tie up all the loose ends? Did the character’s motivations make sense at the end? Were they believable, or did I just shove them together? Is this going to be my worst story ever? Was my language too flowery? Too much description? Too little?

It’s DH’s job to encourage me at this stage, but it’s also his duty to NOT LET ME SEND IT OUT IF IT SUCKS.

Now, I’ve always suspected he’s taken a honey-does-this-make-my-butt-look-big approach to these questions. I’ve wondered if he wasn’t a tad more concerned about the check coming in than caring if I let down my story.

Well, tonight, ride home from Borders:

As I’m grilling him, he finally relents and says, "But you’re planning a sequel, right?"

"Um, no, not really. Why? What wasn’t tied up for you? The ending didn’t feel like an ending?"

"Well, I think your readers are going to want to see the girl and the guy get together."

(Note: this is pretty much a romance. So, guy, girl, getting together? You know, the whole REASON THE STORY EXISTS.)

So you can understand why there was a full minute of silence in the car. Then a strangled, "What do you mean? You didn’t get the ... the ... um, marriage ceremony thing?"

"You mean that little ritual?"

(It’s a fantasy, different world rules.) "Yeah, the ritual."

He backs off. "Oh, right."

I sense that my butt is looking too big in this book and he doesn’t want to say. I mull this over. I try again. "The marriage ritual. I presented it at the beginning of the book, I presented it here, and then finally at the end again with the guy and the girl. You didn’t get that the guy and girl got, um, together?"

I mean, if he doesn’t get that, it doesn’t matter if it’s there or not. It only matters that he didn’t get it, because if he didn’t get it, then I have majorly failed!

More grilling and more questions. He suddenly breaks out in this sheepish grin he has. We discover, together, that he had gotten to the second ritual, and had STOPPED READING. Because that was the end of the chapter, and he saw the blank space, and figured it was the end.

One chapter BEFORE the end. He didn’t read the last chapter.

And he’s telling me it’s fine to send off?????? That, yes, I DID tie up all my loose ends????


10 bonus scribbles:

Susan Helene Gottfried 9/16/2007 09:50:00 AM  

Typical man, huh?

Sounds like you need a better reader, my friend!

Edie 9/16/2007 10:19:00 AM  

LMAO. I'm with Susan. I think you need another reader.

Liz Wolfe 9/16/2007 01:17:00 PM  

I'm in slack-jawed amazement that he reads your stuff. DH never reads mine, not even after it's published...LOL. To be fair, mysteries and thrillers aren't his preferred genre. He leans more to Fantasy.
But he does choreograph some of my fight scenes and he brainstorms plot issues with me.

spyscribbler 9/16/2007 02:10:00 PM  

Edie, Susan, he is close to get fired, LOL!

Naw, I love him. :-)

LOL, Liz. I forget how I got him to read my stuff, but he does. Nor for enjoyment, though. He considers it one of his duties, LOL.

Good man, choreographing your fight scenes! That kinda sounds fun ... I recall who tried to show me some wrestling moves. ;-)

Erica Orloff 9/16/2007 03:13:00 PM  

LOL! I enjoyed this post, Spy . . . I very much relate. My significant other is, I think, dyslexic. He was failed by the school system, and reading is torture for him. I have read alound a couple of my books to him--and he cried in two of them at the right, poignant parts, so I took that as a good sign. But . . . if there's anything at all "experimental" in there in tone, style, or anything . . . I get this blank-faced look. Or a "it's nice." It's nice is akin to "no, your butt doesn't look big." :-)

spyscribbler 9/16/2007 04:16:00 PM  

He cried! At your story! I think I just fell a little bit in love with him, LOL.

DH laughs in all the wrong parts. He laughs AT the heroine. If she falls, screws up, gets mad at the hero, whatever. He laughs!

I can't tell you how this irritates the heck out of me.

Erica Orloff 9/16/2007 05:21:00 PM  

I would have to kill him. :-)

Ello 9/16/2007 05:55:00 PM  

Hello spyscribbler! I've seen your avatar so oftern I feel like I sort of know you! I liked this post because I can completely relate! It took my hub 4 months to finish reading my manuscript. I would get pages from him at a time with big blotchy ink circles where he fell asleep while holding his pen to the page or big crosses across the page where his pen jerked away as he fell asleep. It's been heartwarming to see what a great pageturner I wrote. Sigh. I thought it was just me but I see I'm not alone.

spyscribbler 9/17/2007 01:04:00 PM  

LOL, Erica. It's to the point that when he chuckles, I don't even ask what made him laugh. I just know it's going to irritate me. :-)

Oh, ello, you're kidding!! That would just drive me crazy. No, see, I take away DH's book, sit him in front of the computer, and the poor guy has no choice but to feign interest, what with me watching his every facial tic, his every chuckle, his every move.

Thanks for popping by! It's good to see you here!

Kate S 9/18/2007 10:40:00 AM  

Oh, Spy, thanks for the laugh this morning!

I sense that my butt is looking too big in this book and he doesn’t want to say.


Yeah, I'd give that man the reader's pink slip. ;)