Something’s got to give, or this is going to be one long, hot summer. I said this last year when my editor rejected my first 100 pages. I don’t mind hot, or the fact that it’s summer, but I sure would like to spend it revising instead of writing “x” number of endings over and over.
I’ve surpassed the previous word counts for the first two books. This one’s at 98,000 – thus far – can we say dayum? Yet, here I am, struggling (still) to find the ending. I’m sure I’ve got a load of drivel I need to remove, the stuff I’m writing in I might keep or not. Earlier pages I might keep -or not. You might be thinking, so? Stop writing. Stop writing until you know the ending – then write. That seems like such a Doh! moment, doesn’t it? So, why do I keep on? I keep on because I believe I have a better chance at a sudden discovery, an epiphany type moment by writing continuously, than not moving the story along at all.
It’s like being in a corn maze, you’ll never get to
the end, THE END and get out if you just stand there.
Writing this book has been just like that. In a maze, you go in knowing where you are, but eventually as you keep on, and you go around corner after corner, left, right, left - you begin to think you’ll never find your way out. You end up at one dead end after another. You backtrack. You know you’ll eventually get there, and you just have to keep going. Same thing here.
The way I look at it is, even if I write stuff I’ll eventually remove or maybe put in a different spot, I don’t want to just stop. I have for a day or two, and of course that’s when I’m wandering around, blank faced, preoccupied, distant, silent – lost. I’m a lot of fun then. SIGH. (says my husband)
At this point, one thing I know is, I don’t want to kill my bad guy. I like him – in all his badness. Sure, he’s a killer, he’s a bit strange, but I don’t want to break that connection with him forever. Meanwhile, my protagonist needs to figure out how to “get him.” She needs to set him up – somehow. I’ve twisted and turned ideas over and that’s been like looking under rocks for the answer. All I find is bugs, dirt, and a few slugs. Nothing surprising, just stuff I want to kick out of the way. What I want, and what I need is a giant poisonous snake. Something that screams “Shit!!! Drop the rock, drop the rock!!!” Maybe I’m over-thinking all of it. Maybe I don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Maybe as long as the writing is solid, it could be as simple as turning a corner and suddenly, there’s the end, and I can see my way out - then the snake strikes!
See how that all worked out? I know I need a poisonous snake under a rock at the end of my corn maze! Wow. ***Perfect!
How long has it taken you to find your way out of your story?
***tomorrow I will have decided it needs to be a goat.