End-of-book math

I’m working on finishing up my novella–the one that’s coming out October 1st.  I promised my editor she’d get it over the weekend (and I don’t think she reads my blog, but if she does, there are NO WORRIES, it is coming along fine, STOP READING THIS ENTRY, there is no reason to panic at all.)

At the time I made the promise, it made sense.  I only had about 5,000 words left to write (ha ha ha) and most of what I had was fairly clean.  So, no problem–crank through 5,000 words in a few days, and then spend most of the week polishing and bring things together and smoothing motivations into place.  Right?  Right? Ha ha ha.

I’d forgotten that the last 5,000 words are a lot harder than the first 5,000–or even the middle 20,000.  You have to carefully join all these loose ends, clean up all these plot threads.  And then, when you’re writing a scene that’s supposed to be a short little join between the day and the night (so to speak), filling a tiny little gap and explaining how your heroine comes to be in place B, it majorly sucks when something that was a tiny worry, one you thought you just had to smooth over a little bit, turns into something major, something huge.  And you can’t just beat the scene back into place and make it small, because it’s fighting you to be big.  And you know the scene is right-without this, your heroine’s arc just won’t sit right, but dammit, it is a novella, there wasn’t going to be room for your heroine to have much of a character arc.

Too bad.  She’s got one now.

And all those tiny edits I’d dropped into the first chapter for fun last night suddenly make sense.  Stupid subconscious.  Why do you do this to me?

I started yesterday with around 3,000 words to go.  I wrote 2,000 words.  Now I have 4,000 words left to go.