The rewrite is finished. Almost. I’ve layered and polished and cut and rewritten. I could have loaded it up and emailed it back to my agent by now, but I still haven’t quite nailed the grace note. For me, this is an essential part of feeling really finished with a book. Even if I end up going through the manuscript a few more times (as I will, in line edits and copy edits and galley, at the very least), when I get this particular draft done, the book is finished.
But I need that grace note.
A grace note in writing is much the same. It isn’t necessary, but adds to the enjoyment of the reader. A little embellishment that brings an extra feeling of oomph to the end. It’s usually very small, but not always. Properly orchestrated, it can be the thing that brings a reader to tears, that makes a difference between a satisfying ending and a memorable one. I keep thinking I have an image for this book, and then it’s not quite right. It’s not something that can be forced, either–I have to just keep going back through, touching the pages, not looking, but letting it bubble up. The right note will ring back through the whole book, lighting up it all up in just the right way.
This afternoon, I’m meeting my sister for lunch, and I’m serving the Girls in the Basement notice: you want a grace note here, better get busy. One way or another, it goes back out today. I’m flying to Philly in the morning and don’t want it hanging over my head all weekend. There are other projects restlessly pacing backstage, waiting their turn.