Today I am working on the final chapter of my book. This doesn’t mean I’m nearing the end of this draft, I just feel the need to straighten out the ending at this stage so that I am sure about exactly where I’m going - I daresay I will have to rewrite this when I arrive at it a second time.
I am not very good with endings. I prefer asking the questions early on in the book. And endings are more fragile; you can really screw things up. Everything comes to an end very quickly, almost by accident or luck in my book and I’m not confident that this is going to satisfy the reader. Then again, if the climax didn’t involve any element of good or bad fortune, then it would be very predictable.
Plus, I really struggle to make life or death decisions about my characters. In the very first draft, the ending came as a big fight in which most of my characters were killed one way or another. It was a ridiculous fight really. At one point someone chopped someone else’s head off - I can’t believe I wrote that now, it was just so over the top. Subsequent drafts have made the ending far more subdued and hopefully more believable. I just hope it’s not a total anti-climax.
Oh, this is such hard work.
On a more positive note, I feel confident that I have successfully disabled one of my characters. Of course it is my ambition to get published and go pro, but primarily I wanted to write the sort of book I wanted to read and right some of the wrongs I see in books and other forms of story-telling. I wanted to include a strong realistic Disabled character whose disability was totally incidental to plot. This week I’ve been checking my facts with my friend Bob and feel quite confident that I have pulled this off.
I pray to God this is my final draft. Nobody asks me how it is going anymore, I have been doing this for so long. In a way I am glad they don’t because there’s not much I can say about it, but in a way I feel entirely unsupported. Then again, I know I always ask others how they are getting on at work and what else they are up to and perhaps this is not the way others operate. I am always a little paranoid that because I am ill and everything moves at a slow pace for me, nobody actually gives a monkey's what I do with my time.
Then again again, I know this is partly to do with the people I chose to talk to. There are various family members especially, who sometimes talk for hours about their work, the petty intrigues within their social circles, minor health problems and gardening projects but are pretty keen to get off the moment I volunteer a snippet of information about my own life. It is difficult in such cases to work out whether it is because I am extremely boring or because they are.