Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Tipping Point

I think there's a tipping point in certain manuscripts, when you know you're actually going to finish the thing. Other ideas start to drop away and this one idea consumes more and more brain space ...

In my current book, I stalled at 12,000 words for months because other things intervened. Then I picked it back up a few weeks ago, and yesterday I hit the halfway point, maybe a little more. It was kind of a victory, because over the last few days, I've slowly become aware that I hit that tipping point: I'm going to finish this book. I can see the end. It won't be long now.

It's funny, because my crit partner Erica posted on this subject today, but her experience of this same place, for this particular project of hers, is so different. She's got this huge, many-tentacled story that sprawls across centuries and multiple POVs with a dash of global epidemic thrown in. She's literally dreaming about throwing herself off a bridge. (And believe me, I get it. Personally, I'd be freaking out too, but let's just keep that between us ...)

So far, no one has seen most of this book I'm working on--even my crit partners have only seen about a third of it. For now, it's MINE. I'm feeling very protective of it, like it's this crystal I'm growing in a dark room. All day yesterday, I walked around talking to this story, because yesterday I think I wrote the best single page I've ever written. And as long as no one else has read it, then I'm free to keep thinking that.

And that's what it's like for me at the halfway point. I'm secretive, committed, protective and mad proud of this little organism I'm nurturing on my hard drive. Soon, I'll kick it out the front door, where it will have to fend for itself, but for now, this book is my secret and my pleasure.




5 comments:

Erica Orloff said...

Please. You know you have it bad when you start talking to your characters. For real. Aleks has become like my conscience or something. It's a tad scary.

I totally get this post. Even as I dream of falling off bridges.

[word verification? trama. A cross between trauma and drama, perhaps??]

LurkerMonkey said...

Trama indeed.

Melanie Avila said...

I'm secretive in the beginning too. I think part of it is not wanting to share in case I don't finish or it doesn't live up to my hopes, but part of it is exactly what you say -- not wanting to hear it's not as wonderful as I think it is. At least not yet. :)

Meanwhile I'm still stuck on the idea phase...

LurkerMonkey said...

For me, I have to be wild about a book during the first draft, or else I could never handle the revision stage when I inevitably rip it apart.

Blogger said...

Did you know that you can shorten your long urls with Shortest and make cash for every visit to your short urls.