Sunday, December 12, 2010

Writing on the treadmill

When the November beach writing retreat was over, I knew I was coming to the end of my book. I have maybe 4, 5, or 6 chapters left to write. The killer is on the move, the detective is on the move, the victim is lulled into feeling safe. But I still felt uncertain about what would happen, what the final events would look like and, believe it or not, who is actually the killer. I know something about the killer. I know he's male and younger than the main characters but who he is and how it fits into the picture has remained a mystery even to me, the all-knowing author.

I haven't been concerned about any of this not knowing. My characters in tandem with my imagination have been guiding me all year in the creation of this novel and I have no doubt that they will do so up until the end and even into the revisions. I just have to wait and be open.

Last Wednesday on the treadmill, I was listening to a random mix of music, from Nickelback to the Carpenters, from Marc Cohn to Rick Astley, and suddenly, at about 15 minutes in, I could see the showdown scene in my mind. I hadn't been thinking directly about the book; I hadn't tried to figure anything out or ask myself any questions. It just showed up.

I'm not much closer to knowing who the killer is but I know how he'll get there and what he'll do when he does. That's a major breakthrough. Looking forward to the next writing Friday and getting some of this on paper.

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