Congratulations, Ms King, it’s an ending

Yesterday was crunch day. I’d worked my way through the rewrite, incorporating half a tree’s worth of PostIts and a brick of graphite, and reached the final scene.
I wrote it back in April, which as you may or may not remember was a busy time anyway for LRK and her e-world, and although there was the definite satisfaction of creating an end, there was also the clear knowledge that it was inadequate.
People tend to find my endings inadequate at the best of times, and I admit, the idea of making a deliberate bid to leave the reader with a last burst of suspense and excitement interests me less than weaving suspense into the previous 350 pages. But first draft endings are all duct tape and chewing gum: Just let me FINISH the damn thing, would you?
So yesterday came that point in the ms where It Had To Be Done, and I sat down and did it. 3500 words (14 pages, or about twice my good-day rate) in 6 hours, and although I haven’t looked at it yet, I know it’s fine.
I’m going to be writing three posts next week for Well Read Donkey, the excellent blog kept by my beloved Kepler’s bookstore, and I think I may talk more comprehensively about endings for one of those. But here I just wanted to say that I am very happy with the new shape of the Green Man (working title: we’ll close the contest on Monday and name the book definitively next week.) The final scene wraps around to the beginning, which always gives me a shiver of pleasure, and all four major viewpoints get a play there.
There’s even humor—or, it being Russell, humour.


  1. strawberry curls on August 7, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Congratulations on the birth of your ending!! Its a book!! and the naming will come in a few days. Its been a long gestation and now as proud parent you need a rest. How about a relaxing book tour of the U.K. Just the ticket, right?

    Seriously,it gives me shivers to know the next Russell is this far along. Can’t wait!!

  2. Pat Floyd on August 7, 2009 at 7:12 am

    What a joy, what satisfaction, and what relief to reach this point in your creation. Congratulations! Now we must compose ourselves with patience to await the finished product. I’m glad the actual name is to come so soon.

  3. Merrily on August 7, 2009 at 8:19 am

    OH, Laurie…I’m so excited, and happy for you. Picture me metaphorically in the persona of a sheepdog, waiting patiently, head on paws, outside the door of the bookshop. And the Kindle bookshop, and the audio book shop, and any other form in which this book (by whatever title) maybe obtained.
    And I have no problem with your endings…they leave one wanting more, but that’s what all good things do!

  4. Donna on August 7, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Fireworks! Cannons roar! Loud fanfares – triumphant! and heard distinctly from the harbor: “Well shiver me timbers boys; she’s done it! Put the plank away.

    But FOUR MORE DAYS… we’ve got to think up titles for FOUR MORE DAYS!?!?!?!?…

    hehehe – happy reading on Monday! 🙂

  5. Sara on August 7, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Congratulations on finishing it!

    *Taps shoe on floor impatiently.*

    Can I read it now? 😉

    Just kidding. Sort of. Can’t wait to find out what the name will be- are your eyes tired from reading all those titles? Do they all blend together? Yikes. Good luck. Or, as it’s a Russell, mazel tov.

  6. Ruby J Whatsherface on August 7, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    This blog post makes me happy in so many ways.

    I salute you and all your hard work, Ms King!

  7. Chris on August 8, 2009 at 1:00 am

    I hope a large glass of wine – or a good dark beer – was on standby for this moment!

    UK Tour – hmmm, less miles than a US Tour, but all those roundabouts! Hope to see you on the tour somewhere, but please not Scotland on the ONE night of the year I have to work an evening shift in – Glasgow!


  8. Margaret Wood on August 8, 2009 at 10:37 am

    I love the title, THE GREEN MAN. It’s mysterious. Don’t change it.
    Although I have to admit that I would buy anything Laurie wrote, no matter what the title.

  9. Kelly on August 8, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Oh, congratulations on being able to get the ending onto paper (or into the computer)!

  10. strawberry curls on August 8, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    OK, last one, I promise.

    In The Shadow Of The Stones

  11. strawberry curls on August 8, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Oops, put it on the wrong post…sorry.

  12. Megan on August 9, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    It strikes me that I’ve thought about this newest book so intensely, and always as the Green Man, that I’m going to be hard-pressed to remember the new title. Even if it’s the one I suggested. Darn it, I really liked the original title.

    Good do on the ending bit!

  13. Kerry on August 10, 2009 at 2:33 am

    Congratulations to one (that would be you, for finishing) and all (that would be us, whose upcoming treat is now more tangible than ever!). Count me into the group that’s never been disappointed with one of your endings, and who have loved Green Man as a title from the get-go. Can’t wait to learn what the coming-of-age name will be! (Didn’t we see something along these lines in Califia’s Daughter?)

Leave a Comment