Monday, June 27, 2005

The writing is steady...novel presenting a new twist again. I cannot believe how surprised I am at every turn by the way the characters are progressing. There is more than a little bit of envy of writers who plot out entire universes--the full scope of the story: each scene condensed to a couple of key words--characters with complete psychological profiles. I had a vision of the ending and have just tried to write my way in that general direction. Each character "had to" accomplish certain things before the book was to be finished. But, there is a major shift here in the end that I NEVER anticipated.

I once read interviews with writers and scratched my head over their refrain, "The characters just wouldn't bend how I wanted them to...I never wanted to have this one move to Venezuela, dye her hair red, and stop loving him." and I would think: then just don't write it that way. Characters of short stories I've written (or victims of the three novel/memoir pieces I have abandoned about 50 pages in) were cute little cagey versions of people I knew or of myself. I think in this novel, the same may have started to happen in the earliest gestational stages...but, then a departure came and I was no longer writing people I had ever even met. They do things no one I know would ever do...they live in places I don't, and have dreams and visions completely at odds with my own.

That's why, I believe, this novel is actually nearing the home-stretch. Most of what has happened in this book and to these characters is not what I would have chosen freely. But, I'm not trying to be the goddess of creation anymore, I'm just bearing witness for what happens, jotting it down, and getting the hell out of the way. Next month, I have a brief weekend writing retreat planned. Don't tell my fickle muse, because she'll just stand me up again...but, I am secretly hoping to launch myself towards THE END. Actually, I think I am already headed that, the trick is to get my characters to come along.


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