Episodes 38 and 39 of the first draft of my novel (which you can find elsewhere on the site) were both difficult to write, but for different reasons.

I feel I'm getting near a natural break in the story, and while drafting 38 I found myself channeling about every end-of-book-X / end-of-season cliffhanger from every fantasy novel I've ever read and every tv-series I've ever watched before figuring out what the episode was really about. The father / son relationship is a tricky area in this regard, since in fantasy it's been done so many times before.

Like episode 37, episode 39 was an example of planning to write one thing and finding myself eventually writing something else entirely. In my notes and drafts for the episode there had been more fire, more him and less Moire. No Moire at all, actually. I did quite some editing in order to make the story comprehensible and smooth out a couple of abrupt transitions, but I still feel that in this episode I'm grasping for something that I can't quite reach.

More in general, more and more often I find my imagination is creating challenges for me that my writing ability is not yet able to meet. In a weird way this is encouraging, since it gives me room for development and a sense of direction.

Telling the truth

I don't have a lot to say about this, but I feel it needs to be in here so here it is.

In 'On Writing' Stephen King writes: "Now comes the big question: What are you going to write about? And the equally big answer: Anything you damn well want. Anything at all... as long as you tell the truth."

While I'm writing, I have no way of knowing whether what I'm writing is any good. (Apart from taking precautions to ensure it isn't bad, like using a spell checker and trying to use correct grammar.) What I can do is to be as open as possible to who my characters are and to where the story wants to go, and to write as honestly and clearly as I can.


This article was written after writing episode 39 of the first draft of my novel After the War.
After the War (39)

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