greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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running to stand still

Yesterday, I wrote for five hours and somehow managed only 1,002 words on Chapter Eight. This's a nightmare in more than one sense. It begins in utter pandemonium, and yesterday, finally, after a long prologue and seven chapters, after 98,823 words, the two narrative threads collided one into the other, and I was faced with the fact that there would no longer be Emmie chapters and Soldier chapters. There would now be, instead, Emmie and Soldier chapters. And because the two things have felt a bit different, I'm faced with having to manage this new, third flavour. The Emmie and Soldier chapters will not taste quite the same as the rest of the book. They can't. And everyone who's read it is saying that this is the best novel I've written so far, and now I have to be afraid that it's all going to unravel as the two protagonists try to cope not only with the difficulties of their situations, but also with one another. Yesterday has been, almost without a doubt, the most grueling day I've spent on this book.

With luck, Chapter Eight will be done late on Wednesday (the 31st), and I'll be left with only the final two chapters. That means I'm maybe 30,000 words from The End. But I feel like it's not going to be a dash to the finish line, it's going to be a frelling crawl over gravel and broken bottles.

I do not deal well with "action scenes." And this book has a lot more of what is traditionally thought of as "action scenes" than I'm used to writing. The Five of Cups was full of action scenes, and when I was done with that book I declared I didn't want to write books with lots and lots and lots of action and set out to write other sorts of books instead. Silk was my noble endeavor to avoid those dreaded sequences that are dominated more by the external motion of the fictive world than the internal state of the characters. Threshold slipped back the other way, and people seemed to like it, so I allowed Low Red Moon to be even more "kinetic," and the slippery slope has led me to the last three chapters of this book. There's fire. There's lots of fire. There's rape and hand-to-hand combat and guns and blind flights through tunnels and people having to shout to be heard over the general hullabaloo. There's chaos and confusion. And I have to make you see it. I have to make you hear it. I cannot allow the cacophony to deafen you.

Yet, for all the unease and discomfort it is currently causing me, I love this story and its characters, perhaps more than I have ever loved one of my own novels.

And hey, how bad can things be when there seems to be a nearly invisible universe of real supersymmetric particles surrounding us? All bow before the mighty and wobbly muon — this is drad stuff.

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