Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A dark morning of self doubt

They say that when your plot starts to flag, you should kill somebody. In the story, I mean. Fine. But if I did that, pretty soon I wouldn't have any characters left. Now I'm in the last stretch of this book I started a year ago and about the only thing I can think of is a large meteorite wiping out all my characters except for the protagonist, who is left to wander away contemplating vague epiphanies.

That's fine too, except it's not really a meteorite type of book. It's more of a Fried Green Tomatoes type of book, without the lesbians. And, I'm beginning to understand, without the sales potential. I'm really not sure what I was thinking when I started it. But now it's acquired a life of its own. A crude sweater has taken shape, missing a hole for the head, and still I keep knitting away.

But such is the glamor of the writing life. You hammer blindly at the keyboard, hoping there's an invisible muse out there leading you along by the nose, and that she's not rolling her eyes at the awkward turns of phrase, the particularly egregious cliches. And you pray she takes a more active role in the second draft.


Jessie K said...

"I'm in the last stretch of a book I started a year ago." THAT is a major major accomplishment! Way to go.

Dave Knadler said...

Yeah, well. The only thing I care about now is finishing it, even if it's one of those sweaters nobody would be caught dead in. I might have a better idea for book No. 2.

Anonymous said...

Hi, David,

It is clear to me that you need to read McKee's book: Story.


Dave Knadler said...

Finally bought that book. I'm fully expecting it to make all the difference.