I'm starting Homer's Odyssey with my students at school just as I'm completing another phase of my own personal odyssey. An odyssey is a long journey marked by many changes of fortune. Writing a novel certainly qualifies as an odyssey under that definition.
I've been working on my current WIP (Crimson Crimes) for almost 10 months. That's already 2 months longer than it took me to finish Sapphire Sins. I've blogged endlessly about how I've had to drag the words kicking and screaming out of my head and onto the page. Honestly, I started this blog so I would have something different to write, a diversion I could justify. But finally, finally, FINALLY, the end is in sight.
I've had a brilliant weekend. A massive, creative brain dump where everything seemed easy. The words lined up in my head like good little soldiers and marched themselves onto the page. I didn't have to sit and ask myself, "What comes next?" The next thing just came, and holy cow, it was exciting. It was like reading a really good book. You can't wait to see what happens next, and then you turn the page and there it is.
My protagonist is alive in my head in a way she hasn't been for a while. She and I haven't gotten along very well during this book. She's a child of my imagination, but like my real children, once I gave birth to her, she insisted on free will. I can almost hear my hero laughing at me. He learned a long time ago not to fight with her. She always insists on winning, even when she's wrong.
But man oh man we've been in sync this weekend. I feel her righteous anger. I mean I really FEEL it. The rumble of the engine, the ear-shattering music on the stereo, the two worlds she straddles ripping her apart...all of that comes together in a moment of intense unadulterated rage, and I realize I'm enraged. I'm pounding on my keyboard like it's committed some grievous offense. She wants to kill somebody, and I want to help her do it.
I actually made myself stop as I transitioned into the next scene. She needs her rage to do what needs to be done, but I need to calm down. I have other characters on the page, and they're looking at me with frightened WTF expressions. They shouldn't be. Some of them are villains, and none of them are shrinking violets. I find I just don't write shrinking violets in my stories. They annoy me.
So I've taken a break, made tacos for the boys, and calmed down. I feel like I've awakened from a really intense dream, and I'm debating whether or not to go back to it today. If I do I think it will be to tinker with what's already on the page. I'm happy with the 20 pages I wrote this weekend, and a little real life would do me good. If the rain doesn't cancel it, I've got a freshman football game to go to later. But wow, do I have a rush of endorphins going.
I see the finish line on the horizon, but I'm trying not to get too happy-faced. When Odysseus got home, he found his house full of murdering suitors, so you never know what the next writing session will bring. Right now though, I think my heroine would kick all their asses.