|Posted on December 10, 2018 at 4:00 PM|
from Facebook 7/9/17
This weekend I murdered.
Pens, that is.
It was entirely unintentional. I sat down for a writing marathon (just shy of 12 hours minus the noshings, guys!) and they gave up the ghost, one by one.
My work bag standby croaked after merely drawing two lines through some old notes. It must have looked over at the 300+ left to go and willed itself to die.
The next two hung in for a minute, then dat was dat...and there wasn't nothin' we could do about it. (Sorry. I will use this joke ad nauseum.)
Gotta tell you...it was really satisfying. I'm getting somewhere, maybe. Considering how long I've been taking these damn notes, it felt pretty good to slash right through so many of them; write, however little, towards an end; and especially find some new notes that tell me, in great big letters, NOT to do X, then see that there are old ones saying the same thing. Maybe that means I've kept on track somehow? That the whole thing is somewhat coherent?
I've said this before, but I think I did realize something about the ending. It was a godawful mess not that long ago, and I trimmed until it sounded a lot more "together". Still, something wasn't right. It didn't click. It didn't thrill me, even though it was decent and finally made sense.
I was reading the other day (if I could remember the book, I'd share it) and finally my brain decided to stop half-assing it and cipher the problem (though not enough to remember a title; thanks, brain): I was too soft on my characters. Me! The person who claims to love torturing! But I hate piling on one disaster after another. What to do?
The problem wasn't that the MC loses too much, it's that everything plateaus when it shouldn't, and for too long. The plot flatlines. I love a quiet ending, but the "thriller" and suspense elements disappeared. Cue ambiguity via unreliable narrator. What really happens off-screen?
Aha! There was the light bulb, that domant little shit. That idea ties in nicely with another disquieting thing I have planned. Perhaps I was missing the gray area all along; the action-packed ending was too much, the hushed descent too lackluster. The ninja finale might be the way to go. Rip the heart out while it still beats.
Now to find another pen.