Sunday, July 25, 2010

STC and the withering manuscript

He sat at his desk and saw his manuscript for what it was; a series of concentric circles. They're about something, but at the moment, that something is just black lines going nowhere. He listened to music to see if something would inspire, if something would click. It didn't. He tried writing poetry, to take his mind off of things. Nothing. And the days fell away so fast. He found himself clinging to the half-way marker, unwilling to reach for more words, to tip the manuscript over, to spill the words into something more rounded, more balanced, more complete. He looked over the scattered pages, and with less than seven days before his goal dried up, he came to terms with the fact that he wouldn't reach his goal. No novel. Not this time around.

"Maybe," he thought, "I could make a novella out of it. There's time for that yet."
In a world where nothing is certain, he could only hope that bringing his target down would bring his story to an end. It was hard enough starting the thing, with only two characters vaguely identified at the time of the manuscript's conception, and with a plot clutching at a beginning, let alone a middle and end, the challenge was never going to be easy. But when the first draft is done, then his real work will begin. Then the characters will come to life. Then the plot will resonate from within. Then the manuscript will blossom from a scattered and incomprehensible novella into the novel it was meant to be.

Good luck, STC, you've still got a very long way to go. Hang in there.

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