How many times have you seen it? That exalted flourish as an author pens/types THE END to their masterpiece? A few dozen at least? Personally I admit it gives me a rush, but I wonder how do others feel?
Do you rush toward the end at breakneck pace like a racehorse overeager to reach that finish line? Are you more calculating, relying on your outline to guide you there without missing any plot points? Or do you forgo the end all together and wander off on another project when you hit a snag hoping to reach its ending without a roadblock?
I've heard variations on all of these. But I daydream about what other authors do when they get there. Do they actually type/write the words? Do they hit save and close, then stand up stiff and weary from their chair? Do they say to heck with it, and stay up all night until they get to that HEA? When they get there, does the author question if what he/she has down in actually the place where they story should be ended?
We all know an author's prize isn't often a medal...though sometimes it can be a certificate or statuette for a job well done and well received. Does the author enjoy a box of chocolates, a glass of champagne (or other intoxicating concoction), visit a spa to relax and rejuvenate, or do they do dinner out?
I wonder, if like me, they stash the book away to swirl a while in the back of my mind while I get back to house chores and day to day activities. Then after a month or so, do they pull up the file and start to revise, or if they've reached their second finish line, are they revising for the second time before submission?
Is their finish line dropping that completed and spell checked document in an e-mail to their editor/agent with minutes to spare on their deadline? Or is that other writer a newbie who is doing the same for a contest and relishing in that first rush of hitting THE END milestone?
For each writer and most readers the occasion of reaching that point means a variety of things. Many writers love when they get there and don't want to let the characters go. That means they'll resonate with readers, and hopefully they can bring them back into a sequel or series.
For some they're also sad, because they know it will mean the parting of ways between people they've lived with for months or even years. Like THE END signifies, it's a time for letting go. But in that moment is also birthed a spark of creation, of making the kernel of another idea into a novel that reaches the same point, only better.
That, I think. is what keeps us writing and reading. The search for something new, something different until we can sink back with a sigh of contentment for finding (or creating) that one story that resonates like no other.
But in the end there can be more than one :0)