I expect to deliver my current WIP at some point in the next month. Unless I don’t. Uncertainty seems to be my normal writing state.
The Muse had her way with me several months ago, which, as her brief visits go, was more or less a pleasant interlude. The word fairy’s infrequent and fleeting encounters always leaves me with a warm inspirational glow of what is to come. Sadly, the next morning I struggle to remember the details of our encounter.
Nevertheless, and with great confidence, I immediately began gathering the foundational elements; sketching a key scene, imagining a dramatic ending or a simple beginning phrase that will entice the reader, or perhaps some half remembered fragment of a technical article. A smatter of dialogue, a glimpse of character and occasional bits of scenery flavors the mix.
Although all of these fragments are initially in a disorganized jumble, connections begin to form and clarify what looks to become a plot. Many of these connections fail to survive the encounter with the story’s logic. Undeveloped characters who emerge from the quantum foam and, once they’ve contributed their part, are as quickly absorbed into the naked narrative of the emerging story.
My struggles are not helped when I realize that bitch Muse has impregnated me with yet another irresistible story idea that could not be resisted. It squirms and twists in my mind until there is nothing to do but put aside the as-yet-unrealized first draft to thoroughly capture the essence of this new idea. I saw no problems developing two stories in parallel. It can’t be that hard, right?
Instead, with alternating fervor and frightful dismay, I attempt to focus as the emerging draft(s) struggle with their confusing and compounding problems. Mid-draft issues do not seem to clarify despite frequent infusions of coffee and chocolate, neither of which do much to assuage the contractions as scene after scene, subplots, and the main thread(s) are tested, adjusted, and are too frequently dismissed or abandoned.
A day’s thousand word writing spurt is usually offset by the following day’s massive edits and deletions. False epiphanies and resolutions arise only to be struck down by the immature logic of the developing plot. Contradictions pop up in unattended places, unnoticed by my Teflon eyes for draft after draft.
So here I sit awaiting the stories’ development as their uncertain plots refuse to resolve. Still, I know in my heart of hearts that somewhere ahead lay a plethora of less than satisfying endings and that one golden, satisfactory ending for each story.
The trick is finding it.