Monday, March 10, 2008

The Ongoing Pain of the Penultimate Chapter

So, my novel in progress. I've been writing chapter 19 of 20 for about five months. Just figured out that Chapter 19 should really be two chapters, so now I'm writing chapter 20 of 21. This happened last time I tried to write a novel. It took me the same amount of time to wrap up the first draft as it took to write the first 90% of it. What the hell is wrong with me? Am I allergic to finishing?

I'm analyzing it, this tendency to draw out the end, to get stuck in the penultimate chapter. It's not fear of the next project. I have two next projects on deck, and I'm enthused about both. It's hard to keep from distracting myself with them. Projaholic's curse.

I think part of it is that old bugaboo, the critical brain. The closer I get to the end of the draft, the sooner I'll have to turn the critic back on, the part of my brain that points out the flaws in brilliant color. That part of the brain is jumping up already, and I'm having trouble batting it back down. It's a little like that Whack-a-Mole game. Just shut up already, until I finish this, okay? It's hard to remind myself keep going, don't think about what's wrong with it, don't think about craft, or fixing it, just keep going, just keep going, just keep going.

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