I have reached a milestone. Winds now stands at 100,000 words. I’m very psyched, not only for the word count, which to me holds a certain significance, but also because I can now, finally, see the end of the novel. I don’t yet know the exact details, but I know pretty well the events that lead up to the climax; I know the outcome of the climax; and I know where this all heads in the next novel. I’ve left the ending a little open ended because I want it to be as organic as possible. That is, I want to reach it and have it sprout directly from the events that lead up to it and the attitude of the characters who have lived through the book up to that point. I didn’t want to shoehorn the characters into a pre-determined ending, which has sometimes given me problems in the past. That’s not to say that I’ll let anything happen – I already confessed that I know what happens in very general terms – but I do want to be as open to new avenues as possible. That, at least for me in the writing of this book, has been my modus operandi, and it has worked incredibly well.
At least, it feels like it’s worked incredibly well. A while back, I read a post on (IIRC) Tobias Buckell’s site. He was talking about how now that he has more books under his belt he is more willing to allow a book to take him where it will. He grew more confident as time went on and he learned his chops and was able with that confidence to let his instincts run and trust that they wouldn’t steer him wrong. I feel like I’m reaching a similar place – not that I’m at the same place in my writing that Toby is, only that I’m feeling more comfortable in my skin, and that I’m able to trust that my sense of direction will guide me back to the right path even when a divergence shows up across my chosen trail.
Here’s something weird. I have had trouble reading other people’s blogs lately – writers in particular. I still scan them, but I do so quickly, and I haven’t commented much where I might have a year ago. It has to do with writing, both mine and others’. Writers talk a lot about their writing – their successes, failures, obstacles, progress. For some reason it creates noise, like if I absorb everything that everyone’s saying, my own writing would suffer. I think it has to do with the novel, and maybe it has to do with reading so many feelings, like if I internalized all that stuff that I would begin to become too conscious of the writing process instead of just writing. I feel sort of like I have to put blinders on; I have to prevent myself from getting distracted.
Anyone ever feel like this during a project? (And I recognize the irony: that if anyone did feel that way that they might not even read this…)