Thursday, December 22, 2005

Wrestling the Ten Ton Gorilla

I've managed to insert enough BS into my current story that it now clocks in at well over 50,000 words (that's a million-zillion pages for those of you not in the know).

I've never written remotely near this number of pages, my previous attempts at long-story writing maybe hit the 20,000 word mark. My Gorilla is twice the size it's ever been before, pardon the topical reference, but it's a bit of a King Kong.

No longer do I flip back a few pages, or even ten, to see if what I wrote before makes sense now. No, I'm sitting at page 70 and wondering if what I wrote made sense on page 9, and does it all lead up to that climactic point on page 88?

I feel like I just can't keep that many pages straight in my head. By the time I'm at page 88 I don't even remember what page 9 said, let alone if it flows well.

What about the subtlety? The delicate phrasing? The gradual unwinding of emotions so that the end point, where all subterfuge is gone and the characters have grown as people and they can finally freely and joyously declare their love for one another, is as satisfying as a spicy scallop roll on a hot day?

I was so worried about being too obvious and heavy handed (my mother refers to it as being like Oliver Stone) that by the end of my first draft one got the sense that the characters might possibly have some sort of affection for one another. I don't think either had even thought about love the whole story. And when you are writing a romance that's bad, like writing a murder mystery without a dead body - very unsatisfying.

That's one of many things that I am fixing as I grapple with this monster.

Will it ever get any easier? Will I be able to write a story with a climax so powerful that makes silly things like me tear up and then check to make sure no one is watching? That the gradual building of feelings keeps the reader on edge, knowing it'll all turn out well but loving the torture that the daft characters keep putting themselves through? Will I know if and when I hit that point? Or will it still feel so weird and unmanageable?

I don't have the answer, just an excessive number of rhetorical questions.

But at least I must be enjoying this insane wrestling match on some level, or why would I be doing it?

No comments: