Oddly enough, it ended less than dramatically, given all the build-up. From Friday night of last week through Sunday, I wrote about 27 hours and finished off a good working draft of Shriek. Once I got going, I found I just couldn't stop. Everything that I had found murky became clear and the sheer energy of writing hurriedly and without many breaks took care of the rest. Now I have a good working draft of the novel, much of it fourth or fifth draft, with a few rough spots that I'll need to smooth out. I've already begun the revisions phase and am averaging about 6,000 words a day in rewrites. At this pace, I'll have it in shape except for a final copy-edit by the third week of May at the latest. With any luck, I'll have the book turned in to my agent by June 1st.
I've been working on this novel since 1998 and many times felt that I might not finish it, even while feeling compelled to finish it. Being able to express my frustration on this blog, no matter how much like whining it might have sounded at times, has helped me to keep going and to blow off some steam.
This novel is unlike anything else I've ever done, and also much longer than any fiction I've completed before. I'm excited about getting it in print in part for that very reason.
Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to keep going and who listened to my bitching and moaning.