The End smell

The End. I’m so close to writing those words on the rough edit of Elemental Conflict that I’m pretty sure I can smell them. And dat smell is good. On the other hand, I ripped the guts out of the initial draft, added bits, changed bits, and generally screwed around so much that the original ending is going to flop like a pregnant pole-vaulter.

So what’s an author to do? I’ve tried staring it at it (divine intervention method). I’ve tried reading back through the book (methodical method). I even tried arguing with my cats about it (also divine intervention method). However, my feline gods declined to intervene, so I’m now thrown back on trying something completely new and different, which for the sake of argument (and I expect some), I will name the Monty Python method.

Part of my damage is that I had this impression that Elemental Conflict was pretty solid, that I was only going to need to do a little tweaking here and there, and a basic copy-edit, and The End would be a foregone conclusion. That was last November. I think.

Then I started editing, and I asked myself the fatal question ‘what does piece x actually do for the story?’. The answer came up fast: bugger-all. I got a bit desperate, and examined it in light of the overarching series plot. Still nope. Was it giving vital background, or a touching insight into a character? NOPE again! So I ripped that bit out, and then I found a couple more bits that at least did something for the series as a whole, but were basically bolted onto Elemental Conflict and would do much better in the next book in the series…you can see where this is going.

Oh, and all that was before Hanara y Kien from Elemental Affinity showed up demanding a bigger share of Elemental Conflict. Moan. As it turns out, she was quite right, and Elemental Conflict is much the better for her gate-crashing, but still. Giving her up of 10K words was a lot of work I hadn’t actually budgeted time to do. Ooops.

Sadly, she hasn’t come up with a kick-ass way to write The End in 2 – 5K words. (Typical.) So I’m considering doing a typically indie author thing, which is, indeed, the Monty Python method, and going to work on my urban fantasy for a bit until my brain is so sci-fi depraved deprived it coughs something up just to get me back into the Cortii universe.

On the other hand, it’s a three-day weekend, since Canada is a whopping 150 years old on 1st July, so maybe a rest and copious application of ginger beer to the affected area will actually get me close enough to The End to do more personal things to it than merely smell it.

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