Sneaking Up on the End

I’m nearly done with Platinum, my follow-up to Sapphire.

In many ways, this has been a more difficult story to write than Sapphire was. All these years, I’ve heard writers talk about how each new book is a different challenge, some easy, some harder. I suppose that has something to do with art, with the creative process. If it’s not different every time, then we’re likely not growing and challenging ourselves.

And each world, each set of characters brings their own unique set of problems to the mix. It’s as if I’m their therapist. They walk into my office, dump their issues on my desk and stand back, waiting for me to sort it out for them. No one’s path is the same.

A writer friend recently told me she can knock out a novella in two to three weeks. I admit I felt a surge of envy at the remark. Theoretically, I could, too. A novella is around 26,000 to 40,000 words. At 1,500 words per day, you could hit 31,500 words in three weeks. Totally doable. And, when I started Platinum on February 1, I thought I would have it done in a month. I was totally on track to do that, when I inexplicably slowed to a crawl around the end of the third act. I figure this novella will come out around 34,000 words, and I hit a snag around 26K.

Not writer’s block – I was still writing. But the scene wasn’t right. I wrote past it and circled back. Something was wrong. Something missing or not following the correct path. My characters refused to march politely to their happily-ever-after, even though I know how they get there. I had to sneak around them, change the interactions, find exactly what needed to happen so they can see their way past the thorny problems.

What’s funny is, this happened with The Middle Princess, too. And not with any stories I’ve written before this. So I don’t know if this is my new thing or what. Regardless, it’s clear that I need to add extra time onto the end of my estimates, for the big ending slow-down.

Now I know why therapists like to just give their patients LithiumĀ  and call it good.

Would be so much easier.

2 Replies to “Sneaking Up on the End”

  1. I bet once you figured out what their problem was, the ending came right around. Lithium is great if bipolar is the problem…and then, who’d take it? The characters? Or at that sticky point in the book, would you just rather swallow it?

    1. Actually, I knew what the problem was and how they’d solve it, just not how to get them there emotionally. Totally why I wanted to slip them Lithium, so they’d just be happy and go along.

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