There’s a story by Luis Buñuel called The Exterminating Angel—it was made into a film in the early sixties, I think. The premise is that a group of people are in a room, having dinner and at the end of the evening, they’re unable to leave the room. Just unable to depart the room. They get restless and bored and mean to each other. They eventually get out, but all in all . . . it’s an odd story. Buñuel never discussed the symbolism of the story—Roger Ebert once wrote an article saying that he thought it had something to do with Franco’s Spain and how the bourgeois class is trapped in a miserable life of their own creation.
Anyway, all this is to say that sometimes, I have that feeling when I’m so close to finishing a story. The feeling that I’ll never finish it. That I’ll just be sitting here staring at my computer and this open file for all of eternity, until I’m prepared to eat my own fingertips just to get away from it.
I am seriously less than ten thousand words from finishing Saving Sarah, Book 4 in the Women of Willow Bay series. My editor is waiting patiently for the manuscript, my crit partners are waiting, my betas are waiting . . . I know exactly how it’s going to end. I’ve got the whole thing here in my head, but I’m just unable to get it into the computer. Yeesh!
I think one of my fears is wrapping it all up into too neat a package—a tidy little bow that solves everyone’s issues and then “Scene!” I think Sarah needs to have some things that we know she’s going to have to handle as her new life in Willow Bay with the delectable Tony Reynard continues. She’s struggled through therapy, she’s dealt with her ex and the trauma of being an abuse victim. She’s still haunted by the death of her teenaged daughter. She’s going to become a step-grammy to Tony’s little granddaughter, a stepmom to his daughter—all new roles for her. And in addition, she’ll be running the women’s shelter, where every day, she’ll face domestic violence and sexual exploitation. I can’t just set all that aside with “And they lived happily ever after.”
But on the other hand, this is romance, and they will love and live happily ever after or what’s the point? I need to figure out how to make this one work so that unlike Buñuel’s tragic characters, I can actually depart this story and move on to the next one . . . I'm not really sure where I was headed with this, except to ask for some story-ending energy. Yeah, that'd be nice . . .