Evel Knieveling, with helpful diagrams
Here’s the stuff I will only tell you on weekends, late at night, because it’s silly and it’s true.
Every book is like goddamned Pilgrim’s Progress. (Or, alternatively, Candyland.) They all follow the same track around the board, every time.
There’s the first ten k rush of New Book I am a Genius This is AWESOME.
There’s the 12.5k mile marker of Oh Shit, What’s Next?
There’s the 13k – 25k slog of I Think This Happened, and Then Maybe This Other Thing, Gah.
There’s the 30k realization of Wait! This is Really What This Book is ABOUT!
Then there is (if you’re me) a slide back to the 1st k, because if you press on to 31k without having gone back and fixed the intro with your ABOUT knowledge, you wind up in the Molasses “Why Doesn’t What I’m Writing Now Match Up With What I’ve Written Already, Oh God It Breaks My Braiiiin” Swamp.
Then you rework from 1 – 30 k and write out to 45k and it’s Holy Cow This is AMAZING Now!
But then, somewhere after 45k, you have to make a jump.
The end is in sight. You (if you’re me) know what’s gonna happen from 70k on. All the way to the awesome stupendous dramatic emotional ending of your dreams. But you’re not quite sure how to get from here to there.
And so you have to make a leap of faith. Over buses and sharks and firebreathing mutants with chainsaws dripping with blood. You know your ending’s out there. You can see it in your head. What’s more is now you’ve written twelve other books and this happens Every Damn Time.
So you close your eyes and you gun it and you go.