March 20, 2012

Farewell Chapters

I am very close to the end of my novel. So close it scares me. This may be part of why I've been having trouble writing for the last week, though I'm sure being sick hasn't helped. I'm at the point where I'm writing the "farewell chapter" for each character, and I like to put a lot of energy into that, because the last chapter I give to any character has to be special. It has to be compelling, climactic, all that stuff - it also has to bring resolution to a lot of the core issues the character has been facing in the story. One of my characters has been trying to "rescue" another one for the entire book, and at last succeeds. Another character has been trying to take power for the entire book, and in this chapter the result of his efforts comes to fruition. The third has been trying to find a way to make a difference in the world without either running away or being sucked into the power games of all the others, and he will find his way in the final chapter.

Getting this all done right can be very daunting.

The first, most personal of the "farewells" has been written, but I keep finding issues with it that require me to go back. The second has been half-written at least twice and then I realize that I'm missing something about the character's initial mental state, because the climactic moment isn't playing out the way it needs to when I arrive there. The last one is still untouched.

Part of what I do to stay motivated is I imagine how good it will feel when I'm finished. For a project this long - particularly one that I've attempted more than once and failed to finish before - that will be quite a celebration. I imagine the feeling of that weight off my shoulders, and it seems wonderful. But I also know that I'm going to miss making my way through this story, and that has a tendency to pull me back.

I am going to finish in the next ten days. March: I have sworn it! I laugh at myself saying that, and cross my fingers that it will happen, but it's not outside of possibility. I just need to sit down and get started.

Here goes...