In the journey toward my book release, I feel like a cat chasing his tail. Round and round I go. First this, then that. Crank out another chapter, then tighten up the outline with the changes.
Pesky story elements keep popping up like weasels. Events that I foreshadowed in earlier chapters and forgot about. I sigh, go back, and write them in.
And then there’s social media to keep up with. Find a better author photograph (I did!). Come up with a better presence on Twitter and Facebook and Medium. Blog, comment, tweet. (“Lather, rinse, repeat.”) But engagingly, because I’m communicating with people. Not at them.
As writers of the Digital Age we have a much higher chance at success than any writer in history, but we also have more *work* than any writer in history.
~ Kristen Lamb
What do you mean my Facebook page was never published? Apparently I didn’t push some button, so it languished with only four Likes. That explains a lot, but still. There’s so much to do and all at the same time!
This week I am concentrating on my plot map. You know, the ending. Because in my eagerness to finish I’ve lost track of a few things. Like what day it is. Or what the weather is. Or what phase the moon is in. (A few times characters gaze up at it and sigh–and I can’t have the thing be full for a solid week!)
If you’re going to have a complicated story you must work to a map; otherwise you’ll never make a map of it afterwards.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien
Once everything’s straight, there’s the work of thinking out the ending. Ha, the hardest part. The finish must be clever, unexpected, and emotionally satisfying. I take comfort knowing that I am not alone in my struggle.
Even my favorite writers have struggled to find ideas. When I discovered the quotation below, I gasped. No ideas? T-tolkien? But he wrote so many hundreds of pages!
Yes, Tolkien did come up with more. Eventually. But only because for years he kept working at it. If he had given up (like I feel like doing), how much the world would have missed.
“I find it only too easy to write opening chapters–and at the moment the story is not unfolding. I squandered so much on the original Hobbit (which was not meant to have a sequel) that it is difficult to find anything new in that world.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, on writing The Lord of the Rings