Wednesday, August 15, 2012

So, So Close

I'm within a few hundred words of The End.

But I have a decision to make:

This whole time, I have assumed that this one guy's story thread is going to end with his death. But now that I've reached that moment, it seems... too easy. Too pat. But if I don't do it, then no one in this story will die (well, no one who can't just be uploaded into a new body). And that's like Just Not Done in this genre. LitFic's gotta have its protagonist paralyzed by the meaninglessness of modern life, and SF/Fantasy's gotta have at least one good guy and one bad guy die.

Oh, well. I'll probably kill him off and then re-evaluate in the rewrite.

Miraculous moment of the day: this whole time, I haven't known how Willa was going to overcome this antagonist. From the very beginning, I knew I'd have a double-peaked climax, with both antagonists defeated (and in one case, redeemed) one by one. I knew how the first encounter would play out, but I had no bloody idea about the second. Everything I could think of was a cliché, and either didn't fit the characters (a bookish girl who's never touched a weapon and a legally blind man with a desk job are not going to have a sword fight to the death. They're just not.), or was delivering a moral that made me cringe (do I really want my self-assured, feminist heroine rescued by her father or lover?). So I just charged blithely ahead, choosing to believe that when I got closer to the climax, the solution would come to me.

Well, I arrived at the scene this morning, still with absolutely no fucking clue how Willa was going to take this guy down. "Well, shit," I said to myself, and started the scene anyway. A few dialogue exchanges between the characters, and BAM! I got it, out of freakin' nowhere. And it's perfect. It ties into Willa's original story goal, first mentioned on Page 1, and perfectly expresses the central theme of the book. And although I'm too close to the words right now to tell, I think it falls into that elusive golden zone of not so obvious that you see it coming, but obvious enough that when you read it you slap your forehead and go, "D'oh! Why didn't I see that coming!" Ta-fucking-DA!

I love it when that stuff happens.

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