Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Novel and Me readied to part, two lovers over an awkward breakfast

I'm nearing the end of WTC. The climax is done more or less. Now there's just the final wash of revelation. Not a climax in the strictest sense, but a poignant bit that the whole novel's been building towards. I'm looking to bring it to a close in about 10000 words, which will be two or three days, which is about what I predicted. It'll also push the novel into the 108,000 territory, but that's okay. It hurts me to write it, because it means a lot of things for me personally.

When it's done and all, I might talk about it, but I doubt it. The meanings in it are so very personal to the ghosts I've carried and still carry that it's hard to just throw it all out there. The only statement I ever really want to take on the issue for mass consumption will be the novel itself, in whatever form it will finally take. What do I mean? I mean that a lot of my past experiences, especially in the past three years, are expressed and explored in the novel.

Friends will know what that means. Those who don't will have to wait for some day when I'm feeling up to talking about it. But I've been carving away at my awareness of myself and those around me and our pasts for two months now. It's been hard. It's been painful. But I'm hitting upon very strange and strong truths that float up like bright balloons once they're freed.

I'll be happy to move on past this. I've been dwelling in my own head, transformed through magic and work power into the head of equally confused and much less optimistic Maxwell. Exploring a 'what if' of my own life hasn't always been full of laughs, but it's been an ultimately rewarding experience. I even had a lot of fun from time to time.

Now Maxwell's going to take his bow, and head off to where every other character goes (I don't know where it is, personally) until they wander back into the larger tale. And I'll be kind of sad to see him go. I'm comforted to know that unless my opinion greatly changes, Maxwell has one more story left in him, some years down the line when things have changed and I'm not who I am and he's not who he is and we look back and realize the consequences of our decisions.

I'm not going to post a big long retrospective when I finish WTC. That seems a little bit too much like writing its obituary, and it's not dead. It's just going to sit and ferment for a while as I move on to other things and wider pasteurs. This is my little ode to it when its still swimming in my heart and floating through my mind and I'm living and breathing it. I'd rather remember it like this, when it's not done and gone but still vibrant and changing.

Come next week, this blog is going to be much more focused on my editing efforts. And I'm sure I'll be throwing up excerpts left and right, revelling in the good bits and taking an axe to the woefully inadequate ones. My idea factory has built a nice new wing that's dedicated to refining the raw materials of previous novels. All the little robots of 'make this good' and 'make it make sense' and 'pace better' and those pistons of 'spelling' and 'grammar' all look nice and shiny sitting there waiting to be used. But I can't go in there yet, no sir, say the downstairs guys. It's a hard hat area, you see, and I don't wear hats. When its ready for me, I can go in and play Frankenstein all over MS. And I will. But for now I just look at all the various contraptions and wonder what kind of monster they're going to make when its all said and done.

I'm excited, actually. I get to make something of quality, and then unleash it onto the world. I'm sure plenty of mad scientists and weapon designers have all said the same thing. But then, so have a bunch of artists. So I'm okay. Lets hope that I inspire creation and not destruction. Pretty sure I do. I'm pretty sure that creation is, in the end, one of the things that I'm about.

One of an increasingly complex number.

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