Taking Names

I’m at the end of the second draft. Pass two. Still with some spackling to do and a great deal of lipstick to apply, but I’m satisfied with the story and especially with the sexy bits. (I’m not going to think about the word count, August. I’m not thinking about it. Here’s me, not thinking about the word count. Really. Not.)

Photograph by Hedi Slimane

The ending is still a problem. I have gone through several different scenarios, trying them out like shoes to see which pair won’t pinch or wobble. I keep reminding myself that this is noir. It’s okay to leave it bleak, it’s okay to be nebulous. The thing doesn’t need to be tied up with a satin bow at the end, and it sure as hell doesn’t need to become romantic at this late stage, thereby ruining a good romp with some tear-jerking melodramatic coup de grâce. I’d like to leave the characters at a low boil, send them off to a future in which they will almost certainly be fucked up as they ever were, wreaking havoc and taking names.

Simplify, Averil. That’s my new mantra. Do not manufacture a widget just because you can.

Have you ever read a book which was spoiled by the ending? Or saved by it?

P.S. Mr. Medicine, would you please send Betsy a guest post or three? She’s on the ragged edge.


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