Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Act 4

Jeez. While things are going pretty well on the WeFiNoMo front, I'm more than a little nervous about wrapping up the first draft of this story. Right now, it's not very long. In fact, it's not much bigger than a novella. How the hell do people write those 100,000 word behemoths?? They must think in much grander terms than I do.

As much as I love working on novels--I get so attached to the characters and the settings; it's like living in your own universe for a few months--I miss writing short stories, and I can't wait to wrap up this book so I can focus on short fiction for a little while. There is something extremely mechanical about building a novel. There's a beginning that sets up the action, a middle that compounds the trouble, and an ending that wraps everything up neatly. I hate middles. They seem so forced. I'm even struggling with the novels I'm READING lately, because I just can't stand the can of troubles the poor characters are forced to open up and chow down.

Short fiction doesn't have that trouble. You pretty much leap straight into disaster and just kick your way through the monsters. I'm becoming more and more in love with short fiction every day.


In the meantime, I've got a book to finish. And as much as I like complaining about it, I'm beginning to have these clinging, whining fears of finishing it. After all, I love my heroine. Finishing her story kind of finishes ... her. As exciting as the climax of Act 4 will be, there's something funereal about closing up the piece.

Until the rewrites. ;)


JRC said...

Interesting that you say middles are so forced - I always thought endings were forced, since very few things have natural endings in real life. Even dinner leads to washing up, and washing up leads to griping, and griping opens up a whole new can of worms, etc...
Maybe that's why short fiction is more appealing - it's a snapshot, a scene: you merely need to find the right point at which to stop, rather than having to wrap up every single strand.

Lynda said...

OMG. SO glad I am not the only one who is going to have to ADD stuff on the next draft instead of pare it away. I join you in this bafflement of people who end up at 100,000 words and beyond. I love short stories for all the reasons you say, and I struggle with the novel for these reasons too. I mean, it's all a struggle, but somehow the short story struggle seems better suited to me. And it seems that while I may be writing a shortish novel, I do not write short comments. Hm.