Anatomy of a story Part 7: “The End”

Isn’t that just like a writer to leave you hanging? Apologies–still not completely recovered from this bug and laying low and rest have been my two best friends. BUT, back to my story dissection…

So, after getting back on track the next day, I got home from work, grabbed dinner and headed to the keyboard. It was a race to keep ahead of the information rolling in from my imagination. I worked out the details, tweaked some conversations and set up the ending. Once I abandoned the monster angle, this new direction just laid itself out in front of me and I was able to tell Allen’s tale.

Early on I decided this would be in first person. I usually prefer third person, but I wanted this story personal and from the inside of a father worried about the best thing in his life. I wanted it to hit home and to do that I felt the first person angle worked better.

I could tell you a lot more details, but then I’d give away the plot twist and the end, and, hey, that’s spoiling the story. Let’s say though, that once I gave up my fixation with another monster story, everything jibed, everything felt right and it was go time.

I finished the first draft that second night of writing staying up until almost midnight to put those last two words on the bottom of the page.

Then I let it sit.  I had other things to work on but I also feel drained after I finish a story and I think my imagination needs time to get in the mood to deal with it again. I don’t know how else to explain it other than I just used all of my creative energy getting it down on the page. If I tried to edit it too soon, I’d either get nowhere at all, or the edits wouldn’t be worth anything.

No, like wine, beer or any other aromatic, you need to let it breathe; let it come to life before you take that next step.

I think I like this story so much because it turned out completely different than what I first intended. I was savvy enough not to force the initial idea but gave it space to become what it needed to be.

My two cents on this is: trust your instincts as a writer. If a story or something in it doesn’t feel “right” chances are you need to walk away from it and see if your friend, Imagination, can’t help you out. Listen and be open to changing directions even if it means hitting that “delete” button.

It’s saved my butt more than once and every time I get a new angle or get an answer to a problem I give a quiet thanks and then hurry to get the pieces in place. I may sound like a crazy person referring to my imagination as a living entity, but frankly it is what it is. I don’t question my imagination. I let it do its thing because it helps me do mine. We work well together and it listens to me too, except when I’m totally going down the wrong path like I initially did with Murmuration.

Alright, go write something. And talk to your imagination while you’re doing it…

Craig

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