Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The inevitable hesitation before the finish of "Lucifer's Forge" has struck. It seems to happen with every book.

I think part of it is that I've figured it all out. Through most of the book, I'm discovering the story, and that is the most fun part of the whole process. But by the end of the book, I know exactly where the story is going.

So it's as if I've already written it, because it is complete in my head.

I can't imagine how authors who outline their books work up the motivation to actually write. The creative dream that I carry around in the midst of the book is the real joy of it. The constant glimmering potentialities on the horizon, the gelling when I sit down the write, the surprise when it goes somewhere else or when a minor character takes over. I'm living in another world, where the architecture is dimly glimpsed but the details still need to be filled in. I'm on an adventure as much as the reader is.

The story has impact as I write it.

Whereas, knowing what the story is already is more cold blooded, has less impact, which worries me. Makes me hesitate.

Of course, when I actually sit down to write it there are always more than enough surprises, and I get swept up in the story. If not, then I need to step back and figure out why not.

Hesitation, but also impatience, because I'm SOOOO close to finishing, (I have finished it in my head) and I want to see how it looks.

I suppose part of me doesn't want to finish. I like this world I've created, I'm not sure I want to leave it. Of course, I have weeks ahead of me when I'll be in the muck of it, trying to wrestle what I've written into something coherent and consistent.

But it's not the same thing. It's the dishwashing after the meal.

Ah, well. The biggest lesson I've learned is to develop a process for writing, stick to that process, and be patient.


Dave Cline said...

Great post! Yes, the story is just as much an adventure -- to me as I write it -- as I would hope it would be for the reader.

To preplan the whole thing is too take all the mystery and self-discovery out of it.

However, as I write, I first jot down "things to accomplish in this chapter" notes. I don't know what's going to happen, but in the end, I need to have included X, Y and Z.

Duncan McGeary said...

Yeah, I do something similar. I think about the chapter before I write it, and I have an over thematic arc I'm looking for, and I try to include X amount of this and Y amount of that.

But the chapter itself is always an adventure.