The words came easy yesterday, easier than they have in weeks. I wish I could say it’s because I feel confident in my ending, but I can’t. I still don’t 100% know how the dharma thing is going to end. I mean, basically, I have the chain of events, but as for the ins and outs, how the characters will react, what will become of them… it’s all up in the air like a bunch of chainsaws at the end of a suicidal juggler’s act.
That said, I had a flow going, and I’m not one to look a gift horse in the beak — that’s a good way to get your face bitten off. Nor am I one to complain about having an easy writing session, especially when I’ve really struggled lately. To what can I attribute yesterday’s flow?
I think it’s because, here in the closing moments of the story, there’s a bit of a return to form. The main character is back on his quest, the supporters are back in place doing what they need to do, and the villains have been more or less dealt with. Conflicts resolved, the story can proceed happily in the way that it wants to. It’s all that conflict that gets in the way of just letting things happen. DAMN YOU CONFLICT. Except, the ego-writer reminds me, conflict is the sustenance of the story, so even though I’m wrapping the story up now, that doesn’t mean I can hop off the conflict-train to hurt-town. Incidentally, I spent the evening mulling it over and I spent this morning’s run kicking around the moment where I left off last night and suddenly the last bit of conflict came to me. Something about the heat and the fatigue and the rivers of sweat running down my face triggered the perfect last hurrah for the story’s conflict. Conclusion? All writers should run. Alternate conclusion? Running solves every problem. Alternate alternate conclusion? It’s fargoing hot outside and I’m a little baked, there is no alternate alternate conclusion.
As long as I stay on track (and, against all odds and expectations, I’ve stayed perfectly on track throughout this entire process), the first draft will be done in about a dozen more writing sessions. A dozen! It almost seems too close to put a bow on the events of a story, too immediate to properly process. Like a sudden cinder-block wall on the highway, it looks like I’m going to plow right into it before I can get to where I’m going. But I think that’ll be okay. Rather too much than too little, and god knows how much the draft will change when I get into the editing phase.
I feel like my words of late about the novel betray a sense of melancholy about finishing the book. Well, “finishing.” My laser-beam focus since April has been to get the first draft done, and with the achievement of that (I just scared myself a little, considering it a fait accompli) and in that sense, I am finishing. And I do feel a bit of sadness, a bit of aimlessness, a bit of my-nemesis-is-dead-what-will-I-fight-for-now emptiness creeping in. But I don’t think that will last. I look back over what I’ve accomplished in the last few months and I realize that the act of writing no longer intimidates me like it once did. I have ideas for books and plays that I am just bursting to write, the only challenge when this one is all said and done will be deciding what I set my laser sights on next.