Saturday, September 5, 2009

Letting Go...

Over the last few days, I've been an absolute mess and there hasn't been a known explanation for it. I've been weepy, cranky, broody... Just picture your basic angsty alpha hero only very short, very thin, wearing sweatpants and glasses. Alas, this is me. I have morphed into the demonic creature my DH not-so-fondly refers to as "The Dragon."

About mid-morning, I was having a tantrum. When asked why I was having one, I thought for a second and realized that I had no idea. In fact, the subject shouldn't have riled me up to dragoness proportions at all. As I finally sat down at my computer to begin the last chaper of my 2nd paranormal, it hit me. I've been acting like The Hulk all week long...because separation anxiety has already kicked in.

The thing about me is I cannot - absolutely cannot - spent more than three months on one story. It makes me crazy. In the midst of my 2nd paranormal, however, my wheels were spinning but nothing was moving. I still loved the premise, the plot, the characters, but my muse packed her little bags and went to spend a few weeks at Neverland Resort. While Tink was doing body shots with The Lost Boys All Grown Up on the beautiful white shores of the Mermaid Lagoon, I found myself in the midst of a manuscript I couldn't finish.

Late July, Tink brought her tan hide home and decided to get her lazy butt back to work. This month marks the sixth month on this manuscript. I'm almost to the end and...I'm utterly depressed. I've spent so much time with these characters that parting with it is proving to be so wrenching, it puts my 3-day jag over completing my first manuscript back in...oh, hmmmm, December 2004 to shame.

Thankfully, just in time for my baby blues, in the September Romance Writers Report Maria Connor's "What's Standing Between You and The End?" feature about what holds us back from writing that final part of the story appeared. Thank you, Maria. I'm happy to report that I will be finishing my paranormal tomorrow...after my date with Ben & Jerry tonight!

Writers, sound off: what cures your ending-the-story woes?


Allison Knight said...


The secret, if there is one, is to write a sequel. "Heartsong", my medieval was six years in the making. I loved those characters. I couldn't let go. So I wrote a sequel. I'm waiting to hear from the publisher now. (Crossing my fingers and toes.)

Write a sequel using the old and some new. It worked for me.

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Allison, this story in the 2nd of a series of 5 so I've got the sequel thing covered. The problem I foresee here is that if this is the condition I'm in now, what kind of shape am I going to find myself in when I complete the entire series? Something tells me rum and/or medication will be involved :)

Good luck on the sub! I hope you hear some good news soon!!!

Mary Ricksen said...

Congratulations! Now edits. Sorry do you hate edits too? Uh Oh.(grin)
Good luck!

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Mary, no I LOVE edits! Thanks for the happy thought :)

Beppie Harrison said...

Oh Amber, do I identify. I circled around my last chapter and a half for the better part of two weeks, afraid (I think) that I couldn't make everything come out the way I'd more or less planned it. (The more or less being the problem, of course.) Finally I sat down in my seat, briefly considered nailing my foot to the floor so that I couldn't escape, decided against it, and started writing. Against all my expectations all those pesky tail ends lay down and dovetailed neatly into the HEA. I am ECSTATIC! May the same thing be happening to you . . .

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Why, thank you, Beppie! Perhaps I should clap myself in irons and attached them to my desk instead of nailing. I'm rather fond of my feet :)


Tory Richards said...

LOL, sorry, can't help you here. My favorite two words are THE END:)I feel a sense of accomplishment when it's over and I can concentrate on a new project.

I love edits, too!

Sandy said...

Poor Amber, I was going to say you're pregnant. lol

Now, I know the real reason I can identify with you. I'm on the last book in my trilogy, and I'm dragging my feet in finishing it.
It's because I know I won't see these characters again. Boo Hoo. It's hard to move on, but we both will.

Hang in there.

Carol Ericson said...

I usually rush to The End - can't wait to finish because I usually have a whole new set of characters screaming in my head! Sagging middles? That's a whole other story - I always seem to get bogged down in the middle of the book.

Kris Kennedy said...

We all struggle with different things, don't we? I don't mind working for long periods of time on one mss, and I don't mind the end. What kills me is the reconfiguring and 'A-Ha' moments re: character arcs and subplots mid-way though the THIRD DRAFT! So I spend lot of time re- writing, & cursing myself. :-) I think that's the hardest for me.

I wonder if you had a couple mss going at once, or at least started a new one before you finished the current one, if that would help?

Here's some good vibes to you on finishing the ms. Hope it's such a great feeling this time that the anxiety lessens, & you can start And finish dozens more wonderful books. :-)

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Tory, Sandy, Carol, and Kris, thank you so much for the positive vibes and advice! They are much, much appreciated!



Susan Vaughan said...

Amber, wish I could write a book in three months. Nine seems more like it for me. By 3/4 of the way through the book, I'm itching to be done and on to the next project. My only recourse is to make notes on the new story, and yes, resort to Ben & Jerry. Good luck!

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Hope you've got that book done today, or that you're working on it, Amber. I can't say I've ever been that down about finishing a book, but I have had that feeling of missing the characters. In fact, there are times when I think about my first ever book (not published) and in my mind Britt and Joel are still living their HEA out in Colorado on their ranch. :)

Chiron said...

Hmmm... that's a new one for me. What a lovely creative dilemma! What I'd suggest is to utilize that yearning and write short stories based on the characters. *grin* If you do that with every sequel, you'll have anthology entries ready to go. I'm quite impressed with authors like our Donna Marie Rogers and Stacey Netzel, and Debbie Macomber and Sherryl Woods, who create worlds so real even more stories can spring forth.

I envy your dilemma and hereby prescribe two glasses of wine and one short story. *wink*

--Chiron O'Keefe
The Write Soul:

Donna Marie Rogers said...

Amber, I seem to be having the opposite problem. I've been working on my first story for the sequel to Welcome To Redemption FOREVER. I can't seem to finish up a story that should have taken me a month to write, two at most.

Despite my troubles, however, I think writing a sequel is a fantastic idea. Best of luck, sweetie! :-)

Chiron, you're a sweetheart, thank you for including me in the same breath as those amazing authors (including my CP Stacey!).

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Susan, after nine months I would probably be a complete and utter wreck. What's your fav Ben & Jerry flavor? Mine's the swirly strawberry :)

Stacey, I did finish the book today. It's a little short and I'll have to go back and add another scene. And I always revisit former characters and plot out their HEA. Sometimes I forget they're not living next door.

Chiron, wine, yes! Two celebratory for finishing the story, another to toast all you wonderful web friends ;)

Donna, wishing you speedy motivation because I can't wait for the WTR sequel! And yes, a sequel is in the works. I actually decided to add another to the series so I'll be around these characters through four more books!