Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pounding It Out, Day 24

It's funny. Two days ago, I was engaged and energized. Felt like I was picking up momentum. Then yesterday, I finally finished Part Two, and now here I am feeling like I'm in a void.

I know where the book needs to go. It's just that, having come down off the intensity of the final scene of Act Two, I need some emotional space to regroup. But I can't let that translate into a work stoppage, or else the whole thing goes down in flames.

I know why I'm reluctant. I have very little structure for Act Three, I have basically three major scenes planned, but I'm starting to feel ambivalent about them all. One's too small. One's really hard to pull off. And the third one (which is the first one chronologically) I have no idea how to write without killing off my main character. I need a clever plan, but I'm exhausted from two nights in a row with very little sleep. I'm all out of clever.

And this is how I get blocked. I'm like those wussified parents who try counting to three to get their kids to obey. "One...two...two-and-a-half...two-and-three-quarters...don't make me get to three!" Truth is, the parent's afraid to get to three because there is nothing to back up the threat. So they're desperate not to get to that point and come up empty.

I'm like that when writing. I can feel that I haven't got the problem solved long before I get there. So I slow down, trying not to get there, because when I get there, I'll have nothing. I've got some transitional stuff I need to write before I get to that first big problem scene, but if I write it all now, I'll get there too soon empty-handed.

So I play computer games and read and watch TV and wash dishes and run errands. Anything to put off that reckoning.

I ended yesterday only about 300 words off pace, so the situation is in no way dire. But I can feel that inner surrender coming on again, and I've got to find a way to push it off for at least one more day. If I can push it back one day at a time for seven more days (including today), then I'll be done.

2 comments:

sargon999 said...

Odd. Usually the end is where you have fewest options, and so the end goes faster. I usually suffer from 'end run' where I get close and just start ripping through it because I am so desperate to be finished.

TheyStoleFrazier'sBrain said...

I know. That's the way it is for me as I'm hitting the climax. But that lull between the Act Two disaster and the Act Three climax, where your characters are coping and regrouping and getting oriented again, it's hard for me.