Today, as I was writing, I had a sudden insight into my ending. Those storylines that I needed to weave together presented me, as if by magic, with the perfect way to make that happen, and it was right there all along in the plots that I had been moving forward. Obviously, since this is a first draft and I’m not comfortable thinking of it as good yet, when I say “perfect,” I mean serviceable. But even a serviceable convergence was more than I had before, and it was an amazing feeling.
I have never finished a story before. Even my short stories tend to be left hanging in the air, because that’s the way that I think and write–wrapping things up, ending them, even temporarily, makes me sad as someone who likes to live in worlds indefinitely. This is relevant today because I have never reached the climax of a novel and had to create a convergence before, so I wasn’t entirely sure if I could.
Those inspirational moments are the epitome of writing magic for me. My current story began when I was so young that a lot of the basic structure of it came from the people around me. I asked a friend for an idea that she thought I should write, and it sparked this novel, which never left me even when I wasn’t writing it. I turned my friends and classmates into characters, giving some the choice of what their characters should look like or do. One character is even based on a friend’s grandmother who I barely knew, simply because I was in a car with her and she answered that her character should “help everyone.”
Most of these early ideas were edited out over time. My brunette main character became a blonde, my blonde main character became Jewish, and my female villain is no longer an Australian redhead paired with a Scottish antagonist that was basically a taller Ewan McGregor…as wonderful as I thought that original pairing was. My characterization has hopefully matured along with me over time. Even my main villain in this novel was originally meant to be female, than planned as a boy instead, then switched back to being a girl when I started really writing.
However, in those very early stages, I occasionally had wonderful moments, when a friend would tell me that they wanted their particular character to be a certain way, and I would think, “How on earth will that work with what I’ve already got?” Then as I pondered it, it would click into place in a way that solved a problem I was already facing, or that sent the story in an even better direction. Those were my favorite moments, even when I wasn’t really writing the story. That click as things slide into place, and your novel resettles to accommodate them, and you like the result even better than what you already had.
That is probably my favorite part of the writing process.
Today’s word count: 2,128
Total word count: 66,596
Today’s excerpt: Elle sighed. “With luck, those crazy kids will get it out of their system so we can get things done and everyone can go home happy.”
Mel smirked. “Or they won’t be able to sit in the same room together and we’ll all be doomed.”
“Even odds, I’d say,” Elle agreed, looking up as though she could see them through the ceiling. “But I prefer to be optimistic.”