While it’s likely I’ll be present at the day job next Tuesday, today represents my last full day of work in this hole for 3 weeks and 1 day. Tomorrow I leave for my annual trip to Blackpool with my mate, and then within 24 hours of returning, I’ll be off to Rhodes, that lovely little island in the Greek section of the Mediterranean Sea. Glory be! But there was still much to do before I could consider moving into the party-zone in my head.
The main thing was the completion of Slick. My editing had brought me to the most “pointed out” section of the book – the ending. Having had plenty of time to contemplate this over the last few weeks, today I embarked on reshaping and rewriting a brand new ending. For my protagonist, Ronnie, my antagonists, Andy Ross and the Arabs, my top cop and his partner, DI Lennox and DS Clare Mulholland, and for Carl, Ronnie’s best pal, everything has turned out different.
I definitely have a regular problem with endings; it happened with Hunting Jack, it happened with Gatecrash, A Friend to Die for hasn’t got one, and now also Slick. Wrapping up isn’t something I seem to be able to do easily, and I think in this case I rushed the whole thing without putting as much thought into it as was required.
Looking at my notes, and actually writing it out now, everything seems much more logical, real, and natural. And in doing so, I ended up with an entirely new ending that I am happy with. It also gave me the creation of a link between how things end up for Lennox in this book, to how he begins the book I am planning for NaNoWriMo this November, i.e., how I move him from being a Scottish cop in a London borough, to being a Glaswegian cop in Edinburgh. What that means for DS Mulholland is anyone’s guess…..
The day job did little for my mood. I got the day off to a great start by working on Slick from 5:30am onwards, but then I hit the office and it ruined my general well-being. I couldn’t wait to get out and back home so I could work on the novel, get ready for Blackpool, and generally got everything sorted out.
Then I complicated my time planning even further by taking Laura out for dinner while Gail was at her evening class. As she gets older and more full of attitude, I just wanted to let her know I was still here; that bloke she sees occasionally about the house when she’s about long enough. The teenage years are impending. Oh, glory be!
Anyway, come 12:45am, and after an interesting conversation with one of the editors at my contracted client about a possible project idea, I finally finished Slick. I’m going to give the final two chapters another run through in the morning, but as I took a lot of care in the writing of it I don’t envisage many changes.
In short, Slick is now my first fully completed novel in four years. It feels awesome, and when I get back from my holidays/vacation/period of being a lazy shit, I’ll begin pitching it. At the same time, I’ll start writing the next.