Afterwar continues to fight me. Or more precisely, I continue to keep chipping away at it, my vision of what it should be interfering with what the book actually is, and once again I must learn submission to the shape of that is. I’ve had a good run of bookage I didn’t have to fight myself to carve free, lately, but this one seems fair to break that.
Part of the problem is that 2016 has been a very bad year. Death of loved ones both mine and others’, fascism stalking the land, intense stress, bad luck…the hits just keep on coming, and I keep hoping things will turn around. I am wavering between violent grief and equally violent hope, and both are bad for my nerves.
The other part of the problem is that this book is big and complex, and while I don’t have the entire shape of it, I know it’s larger than anything I’ve done so far. I get damn near paralyzed by the sheer size of the obstacle, forgetting I can break it into small chunks. When I do remember about the small chunks, there are so many of them scattered on the floor around me I get paralyzed by their sheer number. So I oscillate between too much detail and too much big-picture, with spates of furious working when the pendulum is passing between those two points. Once I get the first 50K of the book out of the way, some of the panic will be ameliorated, but…that’s a ways away.
With most books, the fear is, “I’m never going to finish and it will be crap anyway if I manage to do so.” This one is a heaping helping of “Oh, I’ll finish but it will be awful and the publisher will hate it and I’ll have to sell the house and THE SUN WILL GO OUT AND WE’LL ALL DIE.” So, you know, at least it’s something new to be afraid of? Every book is different, they all terrify one in different ways, it’s enough to make me type “why does Wonder Woman even bother” into Google just for a laugh.
Of course, Wonder Woman does bother. She bothers to do superhero things all the time, because it’s who she is. There’s a certain amount of comfort in answering one’s own silly question so definitively. Right now I’m just telling myself that even the worst years end, and at least 2016 isn’t the Year of the Divorce (which was bloody awful), and that I will finish Afterwar because I have no choice and even if it’s horrid, it will not be horrid and unfinished, and I can work with a whole corpse.
It’s not much, but it gets me through daily wordcount.
There is still no snow. There’s a bit of sunshine, which means it’s cold and clear. The hacking cough means I haven’t been running, but perhaps I can venture out for a short walk with Miss B, who is FULL OF ENERGY and does not understand why I am so slow and making such awful sounds at short intervals. She veers between worry and twitchiness, sort of like her owner.
Well. Time to wrap myself in a blanket and get the morning’s wordcount underway. Let’s hope the waning days of 2016 hold no more shocks or bad luck, hm?
Over and out.