Maybe you know you’re on the right track. Maybe you’re on a track and are just hoping it turns out to be the right one. Maybe you didn’t even know there was a track but you can see the light from the oncoming train.
Sometimes I see that light and Im not sure if I should lie down across the tracks and wait for the end, meet the metal beast head on, or do the sensible thing and jump out of the way.
Wait–am I confusing the light of the oncoming train with the light at the end of the tunnel? Very possible. This is what happens when you spend too much time trying to think of clever metaphors.
What about you? Does it feel that your novel is about to rip you apart like speeding metal wheel over your chest? Not a pretty picture–and I should know. I’ve seen a herd of cows gutted by a train. Ick. Enough of that.
I just finished working on a scene that hurt. Made me feel cruel. Now, perhaps you’ve been a rebel all your life or you’re so well-adjusted that you don’t know what I’m talking about, but some of us have spent so much time trying to be good and to please and to do the right thing and to be generous and thoughtful that writing a novel comes close being exposed for the frauds that we are. Oh, yes, I believe you really are kind and generous and good, but novels can require showing our very worst thoughts and imaginings. It makes us procrastinate and put things off. Avoid. Ignore. Not write.
At least it does for me. I’m a good girl–how can I write such terrible things? Isn’t it easier to watch TV? I’m not ready to talk about the mean things I do to my characters. What? Am I happy when I do such vicious things? Why, that would be barbaric.
Okay. So it is May. That’s May. As in even closer to Halloween and NaNo 2008. By my calculations you ought to be in the heart of your novel (excuses later please). The terror, the drama, the heartbreak should be before you. Why–you are not lost on a track about to get decimated by a monstrous train–you are the train!
Last metaphor of the night (ha-ha)–you are on track. You know your story. No matter how far you are or aren’t from station where you started, you know where you are going and you can go only one way. Don’t let a herd of cows derail you. Keep going. Keep writing. You’ve got everything you need to get to the end. All you need now is the fire in the furnace to keep you burning forward. So, what fires you up and gets you writing?
Throw some badgers on the flames if you must. You’re a writer–go ahead and be a barbaric.
Warning: tiny badger (remember him–or her–it’s hard to tell) squeals when on fire.
And yes, I may have had a wee bit of sparkling wine before I wrote this. I may be a good girl, but I’m not a saint. Now, GO WRITE THAT NOVEL or tipsy tiny badger will dance on your keyboard and then throw up on the space bar.