Think I’ve finally hit my stride. It came late enough –I’m usually in don’t-bother-me-I’m-writing mode somewhere around 85K, but it hit me late this time, probably because I was waffling on the necessity or lack thereof of bumping off a major secondary character.
Did I, you ask?
Well, I can’t tell you. 😉
Anyway. I spent my lunch hour all this week pounding keys, and last night I spent about 3 hours doing the same, and my planned dramatic, bloody, disastrous climactic scene is nearly done, and it’s almost all I intended it to be. I went to bed last night in a haze of self-congratulation, knowing, even so, that it couldn’t possibly be as good as I felt like it was.
(I am, dear reader, something of a pessimist. You may have noticed this.)
So when I got up at oh-god this morning because I was tired of laying in bed thinking about my WIP and trying to sleep, I awoke fully prepared to reread this 5K scene and decide it all had to go, or, at very least, that it needed massive restructuring.
And it does need some restructuring –there are some plot holes that need filling, some threads that need tightening. Overall, it’s not too bad. But that is not why I write to you this fine rainy Maine morning. As I was reading along, nodding and making little mmm-hmm noises to myself at key points (this is why I prefer to write without witnesses)I ran across a lovely moment in this endgame bit: one event, one single image, that mirrors a catalytic event from my MC’s past and underscores a nice if somewhat dark theme I didn’t even really know I had in here. Reading this one moment highlighted half a dozen like ones scattered throughout my book, and made the path that the denoument has to take both perfectly clear and unexpectedly bittersweet.
I know this is nothing unique. We all get to experience moments like these, when we look over the words and realize there’s stuff in there we never consciously chose to put in; stuff that holds the book together in ways we probably should have thought of (and apparently did, in some fashion). The underpinning of the story.
I am convinced my long stretches of dammit-why-can’t-I-write-more-than-10-words have something to do with this. They hit right about 2/3 of the way through and plague me till the end –till I hit scenes much like this one, in fact. There are definitely times when I just don’t have the energy to write, or the inclination, or my life is too full to allow for an uninterrupted hour. I don’t deny that I’m completely capable of being lazy. But at least some of that, I am convinced, is my brain turning over moments like the above-mentioned one, working out theme and symmetry, tying the knots that make this not just a good yarn but a fairly decent tapestry.
(yes, I’ll stop with the metaphor now, that one makes even me wince)
Is this a defense of writer’s block?
Well, kind of. Maybe.
I still hate it, and still feel like a poor excuse for a writer when it hits me. But I think the next time it does I’ll just try to relax into it and see what happens.