Well, that's it. I hacked out a subplot that I never liked much anyway, found a more elegant solution for that character, and brought it in at ~450 pages/112,000 words--and it turns out I didn't actually need several of those scenes I thought I needed.
And it feels done this time. It always works this way on novels--when I get to the end of the first draft, it doesn't feel done. When I get to the end of the second draft, that's when the closure hits. I may go back and do rewriting, but the novel is done. It's moved to the finished part of my brain.
And more than that. The trilogy is finished, the more so because I just reread both other books this week, so I have the whole thing in my head all at once, as much as will fit, and pfft. Out the open window. Gone.
Fly away, little story. Fly away and be free.
I feel lightheaded. This always happens. It's very weird. I mean, there's still two rounds of revision, the copyedited MS, and the page proofs for this and for Scardown to go. But this is a significant step in the end of something I've been working on for two years. I hope it doesn't suck.
And this is so totally the theme song for this book, it's scary. My protag's middle name is even Marie.
The face forgives the mirror. The worm forgives the plow.