I read through the first draft of my novel. I have 68 pages done and about 40 more to come I think.
I’m beginning the most intricate part of my novel, the ending. When it all comes together. Or when the shit hits the fan depending on how you want to look at it.
As I was reading the first draft, I realized in some ways my characters have done things I didn’t expect them to do. Before I began my book, I worked out a story weave and each character very clearly, but even then situations started popping up as I wrote.
Characters became spontaneous with ideas of their own and even I wondered what they were thinking or talking about. How can a fictional character decide to change my well-planned story? Well, they just can, as I’ve realized.
It’s an exceptional experience when you’re writing and one of your characters does something unexpected. It’s like a “Who’s writing this anyway?” moment. Am I writing the character or is the character writing through me? I still don’t really have an answer for that.
I have learned to just believe in the process and keep going. Even though sometimes I kind of scratch my head in wonder.
And as I read events or dialogue I didn’t anticipate, I realized I’m not sure what is going to happen or even what some of the characters are going to do as my novel moves along and comes to a conclusion.
In my head I’m working on the first of a trilogy. That’s how I envisioned it, but I guess I’ll have to see what my characters want.
I know they’ll be another book after this one because I can kind of see it a bit in my mind’s eye. Some images, some feelings percolating. So the story will continue. That’s good.
I am back to working on my book. I’d like to have the second draft done by the end of this year so I can send it out to my trusted friends for some critiques. I hope that works out. It’s been years I’ve been working on this book. And as I’ve said before, I don’t believe I could’ve written the end until now.
I needed to figure out some things in my own life before I could progress with my main character. Writing is art after all. It takes the time that it takes.
From the series, Write On! by Jacqueline Snider, writer and editor