MOPNoWriMo Day 24: Something That Looks Like A Light At The End Of Some Tunnel But Might Be Ice Cream (22/2/2012)

Day twenty four: Target wordcount: 95000. Words written: 88400

Fight scenes fought, big revelation about the Chief Antagonist revealed, characters all properly re-united, damsel-in-distress held captive (sort of, except this she’s a he). Calm before storm calmed, navel’s contemplated, loins girded and here it comes. The endgame is here and everything from here on in is a straight ride to the final showdown and the little twist of lemon that comes after. No more bucking and turning the plot now. Final word length is expected to be bang on the nail, and all is fine and good with the world apart from the fact that I was supposed to finish tomorrow and now I’m not at all sure that I’ll even get to the end this week. Oh, I suppose maybe, if I spend the next two days not playing Skyrim at all. I was good today. A half-hour break and then back to work. I do like it how I keep getting in trouble with the town guard for, well, for shouting in a built up area after dark, basically.

I’m often tempted at this point to jack in the first draft and go back to the start and get on with the rewrites. As noted throughout these posts, there’s a list as long as a spiral galaxy’s arm of things that aren’t right and need sorting out or changing or ditching or remoulding and I keep on saying rewrites, that’s what rewrites are for. And the reason I do that and don’t go back and make changes is that there’s a good chance that whatever I rewrite because of what’s happened by the end of act one I’ll have to rewrite again at the end of act 2, and I’m a lazy sod who doesn’t want to rework the same passages more times than he absolutely has to. At this point, though, this great long list of niggles is, indeed, niggling me. I can see the end now. It’s as clear as day. There are no more surprises waiting. There’s no need to finish before going back. Go back NOW and sort it all out while it’s as clear and fresh in my head as it can be and I remember everything!

It’s sorely tempting. A couple of characters and a couple of relationships have morphed between the start of the book and the end, and where they’ve ended up is fine and better than my original plan, but the morphing has to go. Things that should have been stable for a long time need to stably be the way they ended up right from the start. Things that are evolving need to, er… well evolve rather than appear out of nowhere. Bits of world history and culture that have shown up need to have been present from the start. I want to start on this now. NOWWW!!!
I’m not going to though and for two reasons. First one is a morbid fear of finishing that I think some writers have too. It feels much easier to go back and rewrite now than to finish, and it would feel like that on the rewrite too, and this way lies the road to a very polished 85% of a novel, which sod all use to anyone. I shall not allow myself this fear, but push on through it, possibly with the aid of much ice cream. It’ll get better again somewhere around 90-95% complete. Experience tells me this.

And the other reason is that, no matter how obviously clear the passage to the endgame and the end itself may seem, there’s always just a chance that some character or other will let off a bomb in the last few chapters. Experience tells me this one too, and I’d rather only clean up once.

Apparently the paperback of The Order of the Scales has been reprinted. It almost feels like a reward for good behaviour :-)


One Response to “MOPNoWriMo Day 24: Something That Looks Like A Light At The End Of Some Tunnel But Might Be Ice Cream (22/2/2012)”

  1. Matt says:

    Well, for slightly-less-bad behaviour anyway :)

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