Something unexpected happened yesterday, and I’m kind of hoping that the same thing will do so again today. Of course, then it wouldn’t be unexpected. But enough of splitting hairs.
I have been struggling—for longer than I care to even think about—with the novel, Birchwood’s Secret, which I began years ago. It is to be my third book published, and a continuation of the lives of the two main characters, Rick and Karen Brenson, who performed so bravely in Black Wolf Lodge. That one came out in 2010, after many starts and stops along the way.
This current adventure in which Rick and Karen find themselves involved was actually begun long before Black Wolf Lodge. For whatever reasons, I simply wasn’t enthused about working on Birchwood’s Secret and pretty much abandoned it altogether. The rough outlines and ideas remained tucked away in the depths of a manilla folder, in the depths of purgatory in my writing file box. It was then that I plunged into writing Black Wolf, a couple of short stories, “Hobo Willie” and “Pinewood Farm,” and a very fun book titled The Good Luck Highway.
What was I going to work on next? About that time, November rolled around and NaNoWriMo reared its beckoning head and drew me in. And then it hit me that I had a wonderful opportunity to finally do something with all of the notes, scribblings, outlines, etc., still serving out their sentence in the confines of that manilla folder. Thus, the beginnings of my current work in progress began to come together.
At the end of the month, I had accumulated well over the 50,000 word target, but the work itself was scattered, unorganized, and full of problems too numerous to even mention here. Suffice it to say, I was once again ready to re-commit this whole thing to the darkness of the writing file box and some out-of-the-way abyss in a Scrivener Projects folder on my Mac.
But that didn’t happen. I actually went back to the beginning of the novel and began to rework it and attempt to develop it toward some kind of logical and satisfying conclusion. As before, though, that process didn’t go as I’d liked, and the frustration and inability to write much of anything grew and grew.
From the very beginning, I’ve always known what the main premise of the story is all about and who the main characters and the roles they’ll play are. It took me a very long time, however, to know how the thing would end. And that’s when yesterday’s “unexpected happening” happened!
Yesterday, as I try to do on most mornings, I sat down at my Mac and opened my Birchwood’s Secret Scrivener project and re-read what I’d written just a few days before. And for whatever reason, I suddenly knew that a couple of characters needed changed as to their roles in the story, and that another major character (main villain) would have to be worked in.
Realizing this, it became clear in my mind how I could finally build things to the conclusion and outcome that has been eluding me for a long, long time. And I was able to crank out well over two-and-a-half hours worth of writing, the words seeming to flow as they hadn’t in such an extended stretch of time. And, to be honest, it was a wonderful feeling!
Now, as I wrap up this post, I will pour another cup of hot coffee, jump back to dear, old Birchwood’s Secret, and hope that yesterday’s magic shows itself once more.
8 thoughts on “That unexpected happening…”
That’s great, Mark! It’s such a wonderful feeling when the light bulb comes on and the fingers fly. Keep it up. I hope today is just as productive as yesterday. 🙂
Thank you, Jill! So far, it’s not going too badly. It’s rather fun when one knows what the ending is supposed to be. Have a great weekend! 🙂
Yay! What a great feeling! I’m so glad your characters told you what’s what ;)!
Thanks, Luanne! Those characters, I think, are getting tired of being in limbo and want me to get the darned story wrapped up. And, I think I’m awfully close to doing so now, and then the real work will begin. 🙂
That is for sure!
I am always excited to read of people’s dry spells, spurts and starts and stalling out. I have a whole mystery written,it is all hand written alas! But when I told a great friend and mystery book reader my murder weapon and plot devices, she told me they sounded like two television shows she had watched. So, I put the pages into a cabinet and go along writing on my blog, someday hopefully another original thought will ‘define’ the book, making it very much my own… Smiling and happy for YOU, Mark! Keep up the good work, you are an inspiration!
Hi, Robin. Glad you checked in, and your kind words are always a positive. You, too, are “an inspiration!” Don’t give up on that mystery you’ve written, either. There will be a time when all will be right and ready for it to come out of the cabinet. Keep smiling and have a nice weekend! 🙂
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