Final push

I was hoping to draft today, but instead ended up writing infuriatingly circular notes about plot for a sci-fi thing I’ll try and write at some point in the indeterminate future, and I also planned out the rest of Tallulah.

I’ve talked about planning things out before and how, well, unhelpful it has been, but this time it actually feels good. It feels exciting. It feels like momentum; and it also feels like I’m taking advantage of the fact that this is a first draft and I can just mess around.

However, this was not so much planning as it was working out how to tie up some loose plot-ends and, as a result, finding myself with a plan of attack for the final push.

And now I’m sitting at home writing this, and it’s that time again …

I think this happened with Mark and Jessie as well; you start off with an idea, and then as the draft continues the original idea takes consecutively more backseats to the influx of new ideas, of changes and additions to that original idea, and then right before the end, it all suddenly somehow snaps back into place, and the original idea somehow manages to come back, the original spirit of the story, and despite all the changes that have happened since its inception, it also manages to work, perhaps even better than it did before.

Most of what I tied up in terms of loose ends is detailed in the last post; I have decided against going down that rather dark path and coming back to something more … I don’t know. Palatable I guess. And less distracting, which is the most important part; it’s in keeping with the tone of the story, and it is a return to the original idea, which thankfully still works. The rest of the stuff I made up was actually totally different to what I thought was going to happen – in terms of tone; but again, it’s the kind of stuff that I can come up with during a first draft. And I can change it later if it doesn’t work outside of a first draft, but it did tie up some loose ends in terms of the climax I was trying to work towards – in fact it ties them all up. And of course there are other ways to tie these ends up, but this is one such way, and it feels fun to me, so why not do it this way?

And now all that there is left to do is write it, and I can get this done in a week. I could be finished in a week.

That’s kind of overwhelming, considering how much time I’ve poured into this draft. This has taken six months, if I include the first three months of writing as being part of the last six, because there wasn’t very much writing going on until I got my schedule and quotas locked down. It feels wrong somehow that I could all be over so quickly.

But also good, because this has been going on for a LONG time. And I do want to finish it, and be able to sit back and see it as a whole. I want to see it finish, to wrap up. I know it won’t be a comfortable ending, because, again, it’s a first draft, but what I’m looking forward to is seeing why it isn’t comfortable, what I need to change to make it fit better; that’s kind of what this ending I’ve come up with is an exercise in – seeing if something works.

And then when it’s all finished I’ll have nothing to do but … look for something else to do.

Like get a job.

And that’ll be all other kinds of good for self-empowerment or, at least, ‘real-world perspective’, which I keep hearing is good if you’re in the storytelling trade, because people like to be able to see a reflection of their own world in a story – not necessarily the whole thing, but parts of the whole thing. So the more I can emotionally manipula – uh, I mean cater to my audience, the better stories I will be able to craft. And who knows what I’ll learn about myself along the way? Hopefully that I can write and hold a permanent part-time job simultaneously. And if certain stirrings today take root and blossom into full-blown motivation, that I can go back to study and write simultaneously. I’m thinking that just because university ‘happened’, it doesn’t mean it was special. And it doesn’t mean it’ll be special if I go back, either.

And actually I like that. It makes me feel better about not taking advantage of everything I could have, because when something is special, there’s a lot of pressure to ‘get it right’. Now it feels like something better than special; it feels real. And I can go back to something real.

Or not. We’ll see. Either way, this draft is almost done, and I’m excited to get there.


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