Thursday, June 25, 2015

THE END! My Job Here is Done – NOT!

by Nancy Gideon

That last word of your last paragraph of your last page in your last chapter. Miller time, right? I wish! (Well, maybe one!) We writers know reaching the end of that first draft is only the FIRST step. Then your manuscript is off to charm school (or boot camp!) to make it presentable for the public. A nip here, a tuck there, smoothing this, accentuating that, a little more of this here, a lot less of that there, a pleasing introduction, a glossy first impression . . . and sometimes you don’t recognize that raw, vibrant piece of fiction you poured your heart and soul into in the finished product that’s presented to the masses. We’d like to think of ourselves as suave Henry Higgins crafting a ragged waif into an elegant Eliza Doolittle, but usually we feel more like this:

I just wrote the end. The hard part is stepping away to let it rest. Like a soufflé or a cake, if you don’t leave it alone, all the air goes out of it and it’s ruined by TOO much attention. So I’m writing blog posts and cleaning my office and maybe I’ll even binge through Season 5 of Supernatural. Then I’ll come back to my project after it’s cooled and be able to regard it with objective eyes before I begin to pare away words I love and scenes that made me cry in the name of a more solid total effort. (Heroic self-sacrificing sigh!) Then my push will shift toward promotion and the busyness of getting it out there, and I’ll long for those days of just slapping down words in a sloppy base coat of creative energy. A writer’s job is never done . . . but there’s always the lure of that next book waiting.

UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS is the 10th book in my “By Moonlight” dark paranormal shape-shifter series. It’s gestated almost as long as one of my sons, and Monday labor will begin. After bearing down, sweating and swearing, I’m hoping for a Christening sometime in late August/early September. Here’s a sneak peek . . .
He feared no man, no foe, no obstacle or challenge. He’d learned to stand his ground and take it without a wince while growing up with the most to prove in the House of Terriot. He’d been schooled beneath the heavy heel and meaty fists of Bram Terriot, bearing the marks of those lessons scored into his skin and once tender psyche. He understood intimidation better than he did compassion. Had once indulged in every savagery Lee now expected from him. Would have become a brutal, heartless monster walking the same path his father followed had it not been for the two things that called to his latent decency: The brothers who’d fearlessly stood beside him and the female brave enough to believe his claims.

He owed them. He owed his family prosperous lives without fear and subjugation, where pride wasn’t measured in cruelties. He owed the woman he loved the fulfillment of promises made by a starry-eyed boy. He owed them a future in which they bowed to no one and had no reason to expect the worse from one another. And to achieve those things, all he had to do was right the wrongs of the man who’d desecrated the crown he now represented.

All . . .

With a weary laugh, Cale closed his eyes.

His debt. His burden. His to carry and complete alone. No whining about the costs to body, heart or soul. No crying over what couldn’t be changed, repaid or repaired. No shirking from sacrifices sure to cost more than he’d ever thought to wager. The blood on his hands would never come clean. There was no forgiveness for his sins—the sins of the father now those of the son. He was lost but he wouldn’t drag those he loved and respected down with him. Not while he still had strength and breath and opportunity.

He couldn’t save his people hiding on their mountain top. He couldn’t purge his guilt without a willingness to surrender his life.

And he couldn’t protect his mate if he couldn’t provide her with his heir.

Nancy Gideon on the Web


Maureen said...

Yeah! Celebrate for a bit. Editing is the necessary evil :)

Diane Burton said...

That excerpt is rough??? I love your way with words & phrasing.

Celebrating the end is the fun before the hard work. Good analogy with childbirth. We forget about all the pain when we see the finished product. Best wishes on Unleashed by Shadows.