Today, with any luck, I shall finish the last scene of the last chapter of my third novel. Its working title is: Biome NE47: Daughters of Eden. In these desperate times of war virtually on our doorstep in Eastern Europe, a retreat into the final scenes of a fictional story exploring what a new life in a garden of Eden could involve, may not be unwelcome. You can follow the link to trace the odyssey, but actually, that’s not what this post is about. I’m thinking this could be a rumination on the joy of arriving somewhere.
It could be where, it could be when. In science fiction, I seem to remember that the classic construct: ‘somewhen’ has been rather over-used. It could be a physical place, or it could be a completion step in a journey, like writing a novel. Ninety-five thousand words is something, definitely, a ‘somewhere.’ But where? This will complete a total of 83 scenes in this book. That’s an intriguing prime number too. But just a way-post, really, in the Biome NE47 sci-cli-fi series, a sign to the reader that we’re nearly there. It’s not the last scene in the book; rather, it’s the last scene I’m writing to complete the book. The last scene in the novel was actually written as a short story about a year ago, and what’s emerged since is my attempt to flesh out that story.
I keep thinking: it’s a first draft. That means a lot of work still ahead, finessing, correcting anomalies that have crept in, in my enthusiasm for ploughing ahead. Logistical nightmares, seasons out of synch, there’s just so much to consolidate, surely. But today should mark the completion of the story element, the baseline. Just yesterday, for example, I restored a plot device that I’d previously abandoned, that felt more true for the character or, perhaps, for the narrative. Will today bring similar alterations, or is my vision finally solidified enough that further revision of the basic narrative is not required?
So it promises to be a day of writing joy. I’ll start out with a touch of editing of yesterday’s work. It helps just to have that single day in between the creating and the finessing. And then, fingers limbered up, I shall embark on the day’s creativity. Yikes and gulp! Exciting, trepidatious, nervy, to be so palpitatingly close to saying, yes, yes, that’s it.
As I write about how I expect to feel while writing, it all feels kinda solipsistic, really, a kind of talking to myself, redux. But sometime within this exciting day, regardless of the worth of the complete text, I should find I’ve made an arrival at that cherished ambition: the completed first draft, and I don’t mind talking to myself about that. I’ve been talking to myself all the way through the writing, after all.
Sometimes the excitement has burbled out after my writing day is finished. Other times I confess to something like despair. Will this thing ever be finished?
Today, I should create that answer. Better revel in the joy then, the ongoing joy of the last scene that needs to be written, because the post-creative tristesse, that demon that attends the completion of most of my attempts at creativity, will be knock-knock-knocking on my door too soon thereafter. I do hope my writing has been getting better, over the past two years of earnest endeavour. Still, on a continuing cheerful note while it lasts, this day of ongoing joy, there’s a cold can of Guinness waiting for me, for that moment when I say ‘Ah ha’!
And then the printing can begin, and my beloved beta reader can be put on notice: your work will soon be ready to commence.