Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper-tree..."

It's Easter Sunday, and well after ten o'clock. I've managed to be somewhat productive, although perhaps not in a way that's relevant to this blog. I baked banana bread for breakfast, and while doing so cleaned the kitchen (which actually involved scraping and polishing the ceramic cooktop, which is not one of my most treasured of pasttimes). I then got to eat said banana bread with ricotta, cinnamon and a swirl of maple syrup. Victory? Oh, yes, I think so. It reminds me, actually, that some day soon I am going to experiment with bizarre foods and make things that would seem suitable to various parts of the alien world I write in. Because giving myself an eating disorder has made me rather mad like that. (Yes, this is...a long story.)

But to get back into stories in a more general sense, I haven't managed to achieve as much as I'd have liked thus far this long weekend, although I have been doing a little. In the end I wrote only a smidgeon yesterday, but after chatting to a long-time writer friend about exchanging stories again (a prospect that makes me very happy, I don't mind saying!), I was reminded of my penchant for never finishing anything. I've also been flicking through my commission folder a bit recently, and have been reminded as a consequence of my last two projects for NaNoWriMo. Though both novels existed long before those Novembers of 2009 and 2010, I used the time to force myself to write huge chunks of both. And yet, both still languish, unfinished, on my harddrive.

Partially it's because I am a character writer, as noted the other day, and by the time I get towards the end of a piece I tend to discover the actual plot needing to be resolved? Makes zero sense whatsoever. And making sense of all the threads tends to send me screaming in a panic. Last night, though, writing to Ico reminded me of a picture of Aleks and Araben I had commissioned last year (it still distresses me to no end that the artist disappeared off the face of the planet not long after, as she was tremendously talented and I'd have loved to have commissioned her again), and I started poking at Hibernaculum a little. And Ico wants to see more of The Juniper Bones, so...

Reading through the latter, fragmentary bits of Hibernaculum brought me to a scene that's been in my mind for years. And even though bits of it are there, in a sort of vague sketchy outline, it's no-where near complete. Yet it's so strong and vivid and real in my mind. There's a similar scene in The Juniper Bones, which first came to me while I lay half-dozing in a hotel room in Mexico City, listening to the Doors with The End. I've wanted to write both of these scenes for a long time, quite badly. And yet they are so tied in with the ending of the stories, which I can't seem to bear to work out,'s ridiculous, isn't it? This fear of finishing things.

So, I think today...I will try and write both scenes. One I affectionately refer to as "the ghost philharmonic;" the other is a ride on the storm to the bitter end. I think I'll have to turn up Jim Morrison on that one, yes. Wish me luck.


  1. Good luck! :-)

    Sometimes writing a clearly thought-out end scene can help with the stuff that comes before. I actually did something very similar with Blair's story, not by choice, mind. I was in a class and the requirement was that we write NEW material, not revise old. I had Blair's novel about half done, but the first half needed revising. Unable to work on it for the class, I was forced to skip ahead to almost the end to write entirely new material. In the end, having that there to work back up to actually proved quite useful (though that later material did inevitably end up changing a bit by the time I had rewritten the beginning).

    So anyway, I say go for it! :-) It might clarify the earlier threads of the stories for you.

  2. Sometimes I think half the problem is the thought of changing it later. XD In the early stages I quite often write completely out of order, and it's only when I have a really good hold on the basic direction of the first part of the story that I go back to something like a linear approach. But then I get to the end, and...oops. :/