“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s not telling where you might be swept off to.”—J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m closing in on the end of a novella that has taken me far too long to finish. There are reasons for that, of course. Always reasons.
Here’s one: I sat down to write the VERY LAST SCENE last week. I was so happy. I was about to get closure. And then, as the words spilled out of my pen, I realized something that had been out of my reach for months. The one piece of the puzzle that still eluded me, the one thing that would make all the other drifting pieces lock into place.
At page 101, I realized this. There was a sort of sinking feeling in my chest, and I put my pen down. Yes. The fountain pen with the special grey (mist) ink that I use to write ghost stories. I was not done. And I blamed myself for this.
I envy people that plot, that can write scene after scene with the sure sense of where they’re going. That can keep focus even though they already know the end. I dream of being that writer.
But I’m not. I’m just not. I can’t make the characters walk through things that I already know. I have to send them into a scene for answers, I have to live what happens with them.
It’s not time efficient, that’s for sure. Sometimes I feel like I’m stumbling downstairs, but in slow motion. See how frustrating that is?
But, when this happens, I have to remember that every story is a journey. And adventure. Some people know where they’re going, which is great. But some of us have to discover our purpose in the twists and turns, and yes, the missteps. Maybe I could learn to change, but I am still too in love with how I get to the destination.
So I have to just fill my pen back up, and step back onto that path.