On Writing… Cracking The Story…

While I’m certain it’s different for authors, for me a book really starts to work when I’ve got both the start and, especially, ending worked out.

Before reaching that point, there’s plenty of thought put into my novels, working with situations I’d like to present or bits of dialogue that appeal to me.

But once I have that ending, I have something to work toward and that, in turn, allows me to more sharply focus on the stuff leading up to that ending.

I’ve often tried to put into words what writing is like.

It’s like creating a jigsaw puzzle from scratch, creating each individual piece and getting them to fit together -or throw them away- until you have a picture.

Or perhaps its like painting in oils, first creating a rough image then slapping on the oils, mixing them and creating more and more delicate shades and a more solid overall picture.

The part that can get frustrating -and, paradoxically, invigorating!- is that, at least for me, the final product is in flux, usually through the first two or three drafts at least. Its frustrating because sometimes one worries when and, more importantly if the whole thing will come together. So far, I’ve never encountered a situation where I’ve written over 20,000 words or more and then have felt the need to go back to the beginning and start all over.

But I’ve come close!

There have been works where I’ve written this amount of words and, while I still completed the novel I was working at, wound up discarding hard work in that word count range because it simply wasn’t necessary for the book as it evolved in my head and on the page.

Invigorating because with each “failure”, if one wants to look at the early pecking away at the book, you close in on what makes the story work and, like a dull blade, you’re banging away at it and sharpening it with each new passage/page.

So it is with the book I’m currently writing.

But yesterday I had a pretty big breakthrough: I kinda/sorta have figured out the novel’s ending -finally!- and now all the other pieces are falling into place.

I’ve been writing this book for something like two or three months now and have reached, roughly, the 1/4th point or a little past it, and now with the ending, things should move a little quicker.

We’ll see!