What a week it has been for Inductance! It’s hard to believe that just one week ago I was writing about summer slumps and the struggle to stay positive. I suppose some of that positive thought must have made its way into my mind because I came out this week with major progress and am now 2 mere chapters away from finishing my first draft of the novel!
I suppose the slump of last week arose from the fact that I was getting so close to the end—I knew I wanted the ending to crackle with suspense and get readers excited for the final book in the trilogy. Like always, I doubted myself and my ability to create a sparkling finish, and these doubts held me back. I think it is an important lesson for me to take to heart as a writer that I will have these weeks where I need to spend more time in my head than in front of a computer screen. I can’t expect the plots to always come spilling off my fingertips almost of their own volition. Sometimes the story takes time to develop just right in my mind, and I need to stop letting that frustrate me and accept that part of the process
The main problem I have had is the fact that Inductance has two major plot lines running through it. In my opinion (and I will try not to give any spoilers), one of these storylines has been more exciting than the other. Thus I speed through the exciting storyline with ease, but then when it comes time to turn my attention to the other side of the plot I get discouraged and frustrated wishing it could come as easily as the other. I think is one of those issues like I have talked about in the past where I need to trust my ability as an author; even though the plot seems like it is dragging and not engaging to me, this might not be the case for readers. Inductance is full of suspense, and people who have read from it have said it grips their attention; as an author, I cannot fully appreciate this addictive sense to find out what happens next—I already know! I suppose this is one reason why the plot might seem less exciting in my mind. However, during my slow week of thought, I was able to think of some interesting elements to tie the two storylines together and also inject the “weaker” storyline with some new twists of its own.
It felt rather strange actually knowing the exact point in the plot where Inductance would end; it was very different than Capacitance. I had no idea when I would end my first novel; I remember one day riding in the car with my Dad (who had been reading as I wrote) and asking him, “I think it might be about done?’ He thought about it for a moment, and said, “Yeah, but give it one more big twist.” So I thought up the twist at the end of the process for Capacitance; with Inductance, I have known all along what the excitement at the end would be. The whole book was building towards it. Thus, I feel less energy and excitement going into my writing this time. Writing the end of Capacitance gave me that shaky adrenaline rush that one gets from doing an extemporaneous speech or improvisational acting—the thrill of the fresh products of your mind. However, the ending of Inductance has been percolating in my mind for quite some time now, so the feeling is very different—but no less awe inspiring being this close to the end of such a massive undertaking.
I say “end” in a very loose sense of the word; I certainly don’t want to say I am finished working on Inductance. Editing is another very real part of the process, but for me, to have the accomplishment of getting the story out on the page after my past struggles with writer’s block, is a cause for celebration. Right now I am working on Chapter 32 of the 33 planned chapters in Inductance. This week was an amazing feat of writing in which I accomplished as many as three chapters in a day—with a goal of writing five chapters this week, I wrote eight—more than making up for last week’s deficit. At 71,000 words currently (20,000 words more than this time last week), Inductance will be a shorter book than Capacitance, but I think this speaks to the tighter, more action packed, less descriptive style of this second installment. I hope everyone has a good weekend—I will post Chapter 4 of Capacitance on Monday, hopefully as celebration of my finishing Inductance!!