I’ve reached a point with this manuscript where I feel like the story is either coming together perfectly or splintering into something incoherent. I can’t tell which right now. Up to this point, I’ve felt pretty good with the focus and direction of the plot points, but right now, as everything compresses together for the climax, it feels unruly, and for the first time in my writing career, I feel like I’ve painted myself into a corner without being certain how to paint myself back out. Part of that is because of the twist that occurred around chapter nine, one which I kind of anticipated but wasn’t certain would happen. Once it happened, it has taken on a life of its own and completely changed the ending of this book from what I had envisioned. From experience, I know that can actually be a good development, but I also know that if I lose control of the natural flow, the ending could disintegrate on me.
It’s a delicate balance between allowing the story to develop naturally and steering it in the proper direction. On the one hand, I feel like this twist has been pretty powerful and will change the entire complexion of Roskin as the protagonist. On the other, I don’t want to force the climax to happen in a way that seems contrived. The biggest obstacle I’ve encountered is making the time of the various plot points come together precisely without relying on some cheap trick to have it work. Over the next few nights, I have to figure out how to blend it all together or risk losing the tension that’s coming to a head.
This is one half the exhilaration of writing and one half the madness of it. I love when these surprises happen, and I know my best course of action as a writer is to get out of the way and let the story tell itself. However, for four books, I’ve been juggling various plot threads to bring them together at this moment, and now that I’m there, it feels as if the threads are unraveling on me. These next two and a half chapters will determine what quality of writer I am. If I can make this work, I feel like this will a very good book. If I can’t, the whole series could implode on me. And I only have a week and a half before the semester begins.