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????