When reading a book, I always skip to the last page of the story to see how long it is.
That doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying it; I’m just analytical. 242 pages. Hmm. That should take me between four and six hours if I rush, longer if I am interrupted.
As I enjoy the story, I like to know how much I have left.
It’s the same way with my own writing. I throw my word count into a spreadsheet at the end of every chapter, along with a rough outline with bullet points of what’s to come. Then I know if I am about 50% of the way done writing my story or 80%. That’s just me. (More accurately, it will show whether I am writing a 30,000 words to worry for a 120,000 word story. Usually the latter.)
So once I reached the halfway mark of this 242 page book, I began to estimate how many more hours of enjoyment were remaining. And since I got interrupted several times – Universal Studios for a Harry Potter day; mowing the lawn – it actually took several days to finish the book where I thought I might finish it all in one night when I first started.
But the other thing that happens – and I have to believe some of you do this too, so feel free to let me know – is
I wonder how the author is going to adequately wrap everything up in the time remaining?
At the halfway mark, I wasn’t too concerned because there were lots of pages in which to conclude everything, but Lucy kept adding mysteries at that point.
As we got to 75% and 85%, we were still adding stuff!
How is she going to get all this wrapped up in just 30 pages?
And then, how is she going to wrap it up in just 20 pages?
And now, how the hell is she going to wrap it up in 10 pages???
Well, that is on my mind.
But it in no way detracts from
my complete enjoyment of the story and almost inability to put it down.
I say almost because when you have to take your kid to Harry Potter in Orlando, it’s hard to hold a paperback in one hand and stare at I-4 with the other. Probably illegal, too.
But as we are hitting the home stretch I am very happy with the prior 232 pages and can’t wait to see how she wrapped it all up.