I finished THE BLOOD OF KINGS at 6:30 this morning. I had gone to bed at 2AM, not comfortable with what I had written. It was blah. It was dreary. It was meandering, losing the force behind the words. I was exhausted.
At 5:30 the Muse woke me again and ordered me to sit at the keyboard and not get up again until I got it right, and I obeyed.
I shaved off 2 pages of rubbish which didn't belong, added one or two things that should have been there, and sat back to read the words.
The biggest problem was that I always knew how it would end, at least the basic shape of it. For the last couple of weeks I have been absent from my blog because I have been racing toward that ending, the one I felt every minute of every day, saw, tasted, smelled, heard, every word they said together, every ripple of every muscle in Kevin's upper arms, every beat of Stephen's heart, every sanguine drop of it, and yet as I held it in my mind I knew no matter how badly I wanted to write it if I did so then I would never go back and write the chapters which led up to it and made it all work.
And so I held off, surprising myself along the way with hairpin turns of the plot I had not seen, characters I had not known existed, all important, all leading up to the final moments.
Perhaps it was my reluctance to let go that stayed my hand from the last few pages when the time was right to set them down. Perhaps it was because I knew what finding those last few words to wrap it up would mean,: I had lost them, this time perhaps forever. Three months this time...who knows how many in the books before...and this was what I had been racing toward all along, never knowing it until the last, until the last few words were finally set down, and when they were, and when they sounded right it was as if the sword had found my heart and emptied it.
I was alone, hollow, no voices in my head. And in the aftermath...
The rest is silence.