Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Inching Along into the Endgame

So, I've been doing some work on THE NOVEL. (Damn thing is still untitled, but that's another, less troubling issue.) I've inched back up past the 50k mark. After many long weeks where 2k forward meant 3k back. All for the good of the story, but it's a little hard not to notice that my word count doesn't move forward.

Afterall, in noveling, what else does one have to mark "progress" by but an increasing number of words, lines, pages, and chapters? Anything else is as tangible as hope.

I think I've set all my pieces into place. I think the vast majority of plot is in place and ready for execution. My pawn is staring down the line to certain checkmate in five moves. I am moving into Endgame.

Without a doubt, this is the hardest part of writing for me. Beginning stories is easy for me. Everything sparks an idea, a possible story. I sit town and tap them out on Old Trusty, my 12 year old keyboard. (A goal of mine is to type this keyboard to death, but it's a resilient thing! I can't say the same for the mice I've gone through. Like the one that I spun all the scroll from the scroll wheel.)

Once I get into Endgame, those ideas have to take shape. Great ideas don't always play out in the final stages. Some get wiped out like most of my side of the board when I play chess against anyone who is not my 7 year old nephew. Others work out beautifully. But not without pain, tears, blood, and swearing. Lots of swearing.

I know what I want to do with the story. It's like the stakes have suddenly jumped to impossible heights now. I don't want to put the wrong words too-- this is too important. As if I'm not typing on a computer where Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V are at the ready for an idea that doesn't quite work out to tie the loose ends together. I totally could not have been a writer in a pre-computer era. I would stab someone with my quill pen. And probably burned at the stake.

As I move into the Endgame, it's like the words in my fingers dry up. The flit off to be other stories. Or blog posts. Ah. Hm. Anyway.

From where I sit, I've got about twenty thousand words to finish off this novel. The final show down. Bo's set up to get there. So is the other guy(s). But once I get them there... it's got to be fantastic. Intense! Perfect!

No pressure.

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