Car headlights

photo credit: Warten via photopin (license)

I’m writing this blog post to comfort myself more than to inform you, although I hope you might find it informative anyway … or maybe comforting. I’ve come to see this blog as the closest thing I have to a diary, and I often look back through old posts for inspiration.

Right now, I’m leaning heavily on E.L. Doctorow’s famous quote:  Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

It’s very dark and very foggy in my WIP right now, and I’m struggling. I keep inching forward, but it feels like my headlights are fading fast.

Here’s where my blog/diary comforts me. Looking back, I remember that:

  • Although I always knew who the villain was in The Caged Graves, I had no idea how to reveal this or what would happen in the climax. The answer came to me in the shower when I was ¾ of the way through the first draft – and it was nothing like I’d even imagined before. A complete change from where I thought I was going.
  • When I sent Jax and Evangeline to Mexico with the bad guys in The Eighth Day, I had no idea how to rescue them. None. The answer struck me while I was swimming laps in my pool, and it tied back to a little thing I’d put in the book for no good reason – except now it had a reason.
  • I knew exactly what I wanted to happen in the climax of The Morrigan’s Curse – for both POV characters – but I couldn’t figure out how to implement those climaxes without them getting in each other’s way and without interference from too many characters in one location. The answer presented itself during a long drive through the Pennsylvania mountains.

So what does this mean for my WIP? It means if I am patient, I’ll get there eventually. And maybe I should take a break from the computer. It’s raining right now – so the pool is out. I don’t have time to drive to the mountains, so I guess I’ll try a long, hot shower.

Inspiration, come and find me!