Thursday, February 17, 2011

Jeannie Watt asks When Will It End?

You know, it occurs to me that I should have called this blog “How Does It End?” rather than “When Will It End?” because with every book I write, I say to myself, “Oh, dear heavens, how does it end?”  

The worst time was when I put one of those count-down gadgets on my computer desktop with the book’s due date on it. I watched as the days ticked by…six days, five days, four days…No ending to the book.  I started leaving my computer turned off and writing on legal pads so I didn’t have to face the count down gadget. I was approaching  zero hour and I didn’t know how the book was going to end. Happily ever after, yes, but how? How? How? How?

Finally, the day before the book was due—or maybe it was the day it was due—I sat at the keyboard, placed my fingers on the home keys, closed my eyes (having taken several secretarial classes, I rarely look at the keys unless I’m doing numbers. My mother can do the numbers without looking, which utterly amazes me) and began to write. I just started slapping some words onto the page. Free writing really. Then it started taking form. Really? She’s going to do that? Huh. Who would have expected him to react like that? Wow—maybe these two have a chance to get together. Maybe I have an ending!

A week later, I got a note from my editor saying it was one of the best endings she’d recently read. I was hoping she’d read Gone with the Wind that week, but she probably hadn’t.

All of this has made me wonder about other writers and their endings, as well as favorite endings. I was going to ask about good endings in general, but in the interest of not spoiling any endings for people with giant TBR piles, I have decided to ask about classic endings—of movies or books.

The question:  What is your favorite classic ending?

The prize: A copy of Maddie Inherits a Cowboy or one of my backlist.

My answer: An Officer and a Gentleman.  All I can say is, wow, what an ending.
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