Friday, March 5, 2010

Beginning of the End

Having just crossed the 100k word count in my work-in-progress, I’m finding the going easier than before. Why is that?

I always enjoy the start of a new novel. The blankness of the computer screen, the ideas jostling in my head—each wanting to be caught and pinned down first—these things inspire me to create something new. The pages blur past me. Before I know it, I’m wrapping up chapter five.

When I come up for air, I get a glimpse of the mountain of work towering over me, and it seems like too much. This is when a good support system is vital. My wife is always there to tell me how awesome I am (and, no, she doesn’t drink much. Go figure.). But one way or another, I dive back into it. This middle section is where rhythm comes into play. When I’m in the zone, the pages get cranked out and the book starts to gather its own momentum. When I’m not . . . well, it can be an uphill climb.

All this effort carries me into the final act. (Do any other authors think of their books in terms of acts?) This is where I find myself now, in that boiling cauldron where the storylines I laid down earlier are all coming together. At this point, the words flow so easily it’s like I’m not in control anymore, but just holding on with both hands and hoping I don’t get thrown off before the ride comes to a halt. This is the second funnest (yes, I know it’s not a word. Get over it.) time in the writing process for me. The grand charge to the finish line.

*Cue Chariots of Fire theme song.*

3 comments:

adam_r_stephens said...

I know EXACTLY what that feels like, to the word. Honestly, that's why I write books. Even though I'm urgently seeking a publisher (as well as an agent), it is the joy and pain I experience during the labor of constructing the novel that truly drives me back to it every time. Especially when I feel like quitting. Nice post; very honest!

Jon Sprunk said...

My pleasure. Thanks for reading.

Bryce said...

I think I suffer from a fear of starting...just worrying that my work will never be good enough to publish. I'm getting over this, though, as I'm realizing that for every word I write I get just a little bit better at the craft. I've learned a lot in the last year about tempo and rhythm, setting and punching you in the stomach at the beginning of the novel. Now I've just got to actually bang out the three books that are roaming the corridors of my mind, and then move on to better stuff.

Oh, and yes, I've seen lots of authors that think of it as a three act deal.