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Monday, February 02, 2009

End of an Era - or at least the Second Act

Could it be? Really, maybe, possibly? Am I on the home stretch? I think I may have actually hit Plot Point 2 (i.e. the end of the second act, as defined by Christopher Voegler in The Writer's Journey).



One of my favorite writing posts ever is from Sarah Dessen, Writing the novel (or, falling in love, sort of), in which she says this:

Eventually, though, you hit that last third, and things go south, big time. This always seems to happen to me in January or February, which just makes it worse. Suddenly, there's just too much: too many characters, too many subplots, too many words. You still have miles to go, which is bad enough, but to make matters worse you already hate everyone and everything in your story. You can't believe you ever began this, you must have been demented, and now you're going to have to throw the whole thing out and start over, the very thought of which makes your brain hurt, as if it is about to explode.

Uh-oh. But then she says this:

You just have to get there, to that dark, dark spot, to start climbing towards the light again. And if you're lucky---and by this point, you deserve some luck, right?---once you start, the pace picks up and things start falling into place. The first part of that last hundred pages is agony. But the second can be magical, as you race towards the finish, almost giddy with relief. Suddenly, you remember everything you loved about this book at the beginning, how much you care about your characters, how cool that metaphor really is. It's like only by going through the very worst with a book---or a person, to keep up the analogy---can you get to the best.

Oh, yeah...I remember this from the first book - and I should listen to her, because she's done, what, eight now??

I don't think I'm in the dark, though actually I'm a little off-balance because something really unexpected just happened, and one of my characters rose to the occasion in an entirely surprising way - oh, and now I have to deal with it! What happens next? So, so much, I can't even begin to fathom how everything is going to come together.

Type and pray. And look for inspiration wherever I can find it.


  1. it'll come togther - have faith and trust your writing process :)

  2. Sounds like you're on to a great story! Surprises are a good thing...it'll keep you intrigued to explore more of your story.