And that, apparently, is how you write a book

First draft for this last section is done.

I’m very tired.

I’m not at all confident in my ability to clean up a rather clunky ending.  And the pacing in the last half needs some serious work.  Plus there’s a scene I couldn’t be bothered to actually write, so I just put some filler in there and then changed scenes again.

Which is going to be tons of fun come tomorrow when I have to sort all this out.

Not to mention the typos.  So many typos.

My bid to alienate everyone

So, as I mentioned yesterday, endings are tough.  They’re really tough for me because I don’t really believe in them.  In my mind, life goes on; I never really get it into my head that a character’s story is over (unless I’ve killed them off, of course).  The result of this mentality is that for my larger works there’s always a lingering hint of things left undone in my endings.

I shouldn’t say “always” I guess because I don’t have a ton of larger works, but just the same I don’t see myself ever wrapping up one of my stories with a bunch of ewoks playing instruments and everybody dancing and smiling implying that now everything will be perfect for always.

Or maybe I’m being too analytical of myself.  After all, even the most tied up of endings gives some notion of life continuing.  I’ve yet to see the story that ends with, “Then everything stopped forever.”

No, maybe my point here is that the Matthew and Epp stories are, by nature, going to end with the notion of things continuing on past the final word.  These characters live preposterously long lives; I’m not going to be able to sum them up in the year I’ve spent with them.

But that’s not it either.

I don’t know.  I haven’t actually written the final words yet, but I get the idea that it’s going to be possible to read it as me leaving the door open for a sequel or something.  Which it isn’t.  I may come back to this world, I have no control over that.  But my ending isn’t an attempt to hint at that.

It’s just my ending.

Life goes on.

This one and the next.  Ha.

Endings are tough

About four times so far today I’ve stopped writing, thrown myself into a panic, come to the conclusion that this is nothing but a horrible mess, written the words, “then everyone dies,” and walked away from my computer in disgust.

In fact, I didn’t bother to delete those three words, “then everyone dies,” the last time I wrote them. They’re still there at the end of my current Word document, hovering just past the body of the text, sitting there below the cursor, a happy little escape hatch for me to fall back on when I finally give up on tying all of this gigantic mess up. It’s sort of like my mythical trip to Tahiti that I’ve been contemplating for as long as I can remember but will never actually get around to taking.

At any point I can just stop, mid-sentence even, and hit delete until the rest of the story catches up to those three words. Then I’ll be done.

Endings are tough.

This is not a blog

For some reason I’m rather stuck this week in the word department.  They aren’t really flowing.  For the story that’s okay because, over the course of this project anyway, the week leading up to my writing weekend has always been spent doing a lot of brainstorming and note taking and book reading and things of that nature, but no actual writing.

Except for these daily posts.  Which have no point and go nowhere and, in no way, are meant to comprise a blog.

I mean, yes, they’re sort of a blog, but periodically I feel compelled to point out that really this is more of a documentary.  I don’t dedicate tons of brainpower to coming up with fascinating and humorous blog posts.  This is partly a survival issue.  There is no way I could craft ten interesting posts and a short story over the course of two weeks, every two weeks, for fifty-two weeks.

No, the daily posts on this site were always meant to be more of a study in what goes into writing a story.  And, as it turns out, a lot of what goes into writing a story is me being stressed and bored and sleepy and sort of thick-headidly stupid as I stare off into space and listen to the noises in my head.

Sometimes something fun pops up, but otherwise I feel obligated, mostly to other writers out there, to not spice things up and try to display this process as honestly as possible.

So when I’m having a hard time stringing words together, you get a post about me having a hard time stringing words together.

Like this one.


This might not be my shortest story

I didn’t sleep very well last night.  I was tossing and turning a lot and then I was up at about five and couldn’t fall back asleep.  It wasn’t a bad tossing and turning.  I was stuck in thought barely enough to keep sleep away.  And what I was thinking about was this last section.

I keep mentioning that it’s a little strange to be wrapping all of this up, but the number of different ways I could wrap things up is a little strange as well.  I may have worked out some of the larger steps last night, but, really, a lot of things are up in the air, and a lot of things are going to wait until I get into the story and can see which way some of my early choices lean.  Which is a weird feeling.  Also, well I have a lot of ground to cover and I don’t want to short change anything, so this might run a bit long.  Not that the Matthew and Epp stories have ever run short.

Love the e-mails and comments thus far on that last section.  It’s so much fun when I can throw Tammy for a loop while at the same time not confuse my mother.

Good stuff.

The title is now set in stone, unchangable for all time

Or unless I go into the “Manage” section of my dashboard and change it.

I had to put a dash in between “Part” and “10” when I renamed the category, otherwise this current category appeared above “Part 1” in the categories tab. Which was annoying.

Also my page went nuts earlier today.

I just saw an ad for the Adirondacks where they bragged about how many of those “other parks out west” you could fit into the Adirondacks. Five. Five famous parks from Utah and Colorado were able to fit into just one Adirondacks. I’m not sure how this is a selling point for a National Park.

Haven’t started the last story yet.

You know those dreams everyone has where you forgot to study for your final?

I’ve got to tell you, I’ve kind of got the jim-jams here.  Firmly lodged in the front of my skull is the notion that this is the last story of this project, not to mention the final chords of Matthew and Epp.

I think I’m nervous.

On another note…I somehow have no other notes.

If you just dropped in, the story posting next week will be the last story in the project, it will also round out the Matthew and Epp stories which began with “Part 1: Second Choice.”  Go read it.  If you like it, then go read Parts 2 through 9 in preparation for Part 10, coming next Thursday. You can find them nicely labeled and in order over in the “Categories” sidebar.

Titles, titles everywhere so lets all have a drink

I’m pretty sure I’ve got my title for this final section.  It came to me well over a month ago and the odds of my brain setting it aside in any real way and letting the possibility of a new title exist are pretty slim.  My head is already sold on it.  And for good reason.  It’s fun, it matches well with the story and, as a nice bonus, it even matches well with my current state of mind concerning this project.

But, as usual, I’m going to hold off on changing the category until I’m really really sure.  Really.  Granted, if you’re reading this six months from now or something then this won’t make any sense because the category will already have been changed, so for those of you who weren’t reading this as it was posted, the category title is currently “Untitled 26.”

I think I’m giddy.

Way to stick to your guns there, moron

For those of you paying attention, you’ll notice that I did not come up with a wonderful new title for that last section.  Instead I went ahead and used the title that I came up with earlier in the week which I declared to be pompous and overly verbose.  I didn’t even trim it down.

Well done, me.

And now here we are.  One story left.  One section to go.  Matthew and Epp shall soon arrive at their ending.

Seriously.  This is great fun.  If you aren’t reading, you should be.  And if your friends aren’t reading, they should be.  And if your friends’ friends aren’t reading…well to hell with those losers.

Go tell some people.