27 January 2020

One Line at a Time

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I finally finished my read through of Uneven Lines (all 27 chapters so far), in order to get a feel for the story again and think about what needs to happen in the next chapter. The bad news is that I wanted to finish this two weeks ago.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am already falling behind on my goals for the year. Is anyone surprised? I suppose I should look on the bright side that at least I did eventually finish my first goal, right? But my plan of having Chapter 28 written by the end of January is definitely not going to happen.

I thought the end would be more clear to me. I mean, I know what needs to happen. I've known since I wrote the short story version almost nine years ago. But it has to work with everything that has happened before it. It has to be the right ending to this new version I've created.

Maybe my read through didn't go quite how I thought it would, and not just because it took longer than I'd planned. I was also editing as I went, which I really shouldn't have been doing (I blame reading On Writing by Stephen King at the same time...had to kill those adverbs...). I plan on editing once the whole third draft is done. I was really just supposed to be reading it for enjoyment. I did enjoy it somewhat. I liked reading the earlier chapters that I haven't looked at in a while, and the newer chapters that I don't have memorized yet. But I wasn't really reading. I was working.

But I digress! The next step is to do some journal writing to help me figure out the ending. I've made a list of topics I want to dive into in order to make sure I'll address everything I need to in the last two chapters. I'm hoping to write at least one journal entry a day this week, and then maybe I can actually start writing.

In the meantime, I'm just letting the ideas come to me. I try thinking about the next chapter as often as I can. I listen to songs that make me think about it while I'm on the treadmill. I fall asleep thinking about it. I wake up thinking about it. And every so often, I'm struck with a line. It's usually dialogue, but sometimes it's narration. But no matter what it is, I grab my phone and I write it in a note. I know I probably won't use them all, but I have to consider everything in order to get this chapter right.

So for now, I'm collecting lines. I feel like eventually I'm going to be stitching them into some kind of franken-chapter. But that just might be ok. I'm not sure if this chapter will ever hit me all at once. It's going to be one step at a time, maybe one line at a time. As long as it works out in the end, it doesn't really matter.


  1. Just jot down several ideas for the ending and see which one works best.

  2. Rome wasn't built in a day, so they say, so don't beat yourself up for failing goals (but I feel your pain). The ending will reveal all its secrets when it's ready, and when it does, I'm sure it will be amazing :)

  3. Sounds like you have a plan for your ending. Mine is a little fuzzy too and I may have to brainstorm some ideas to make it thrilling.

  4. I feel ya. Having rewritten my current WIP three times and I'm still trying to finish it, I understand the line by line progress. At least you are making progress, which is Awesome!

  5. Every time I think I am on the last edit, I do another one. As a matter of fact, I sent it off to be formatted and as I read this, I started to wonder if I did an adverb check...

    Better to be late than be shoddy.

  6. Sounds like you're on the right lines, so don't worry too much about hitting your goals exactly on time. When you're in the middle of something, it's about lots of mini flashes of inspiration rather than any one big one - I think that's the way it should be, and you've no shortage of ideas, it seems. Keep going.