Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The snickety click of a key

Whew! Finally a snick, after a bout of mental flailing. On Friday I settled down in the library, excpecting to write another 1200 words, as the story has been flowing smoothly for quite some time now. And then bam! Screeching halt.

Suddenly the plot, or rather plots, overwhelmed me. All the loose threads and all the characters and objects and clues just gathered into an unruly, flabby mass that was impossible to gain control of. It was like trying to reach around a five meter wide bean bag.

It was dawning on me, horribly, that an ending cannot be stumbled into. It requires discipline, careful pacing and the clever crafting of excitement and release. It requires that you deal with all the elements you've splashed happily onto the canvas along the way, making them cohere into a subtle, sophisticated, yet clear picture.

How come none of my confidantes exclaimed in delight when I outlined the end for them? Not one 'Cool!', not one excited 'So that's why' or 'Now I see'. Just a polite succession of nods and ohs. It just wasn't good enough, and it truly felt like years of hard work amounted to nothing more than a ramshackle, lacklustre construction. And I've only weeks left of Pan's paternity leave to finish it and make in shine.

Dark thoughts and lousy mood ensued. I took the weekend off, sleeping as much as I could. I changed writing venues. I surfed listlessly. I had tons of coffee, and cookies too. I ditched my computer and trudged around, circling my Inspire, desperately hoping for a revelation of sorts.

Today started off not much better. But then, but then. I stopped by Not for robots, just to read about writing for a bit. Sometimes that helps me focus. And while my mind pretended to read about the relief of a good snick, it really shifted into an actual snick. Like pieces of a puzzle finally fitting perfectly, or a key finally turning in the lock. Of course!

Sure, details must be nailed down. I still don't know exactly how the events unfold. And sure, quite a bit of rewriting is required. I'll have to go back and painstakingly erase or change every carefully dropped hint that no longer applies.

But that's really a small price to pay for liking my story again.

(Gorgeous key by Line).


Aurora said...

I´ll "OOOOH" you if you want sweetie!! ;)
Love from Kjeld

Laini Taylor said...

Hey, look what happens when I don't stop by for a little while! All KINDS of things, both good and bad -- I'm so glad you're writing again, and a snick, YAY! But I am cringing for poor Magnus's eye infection. You had mentioned an eye infection but I didn't realize it was so terrible. Surgery??? What's happening? Oh, little man, I am so sorry :-( Big hugs and kisses.