When you start a novel, you think you've got it in the bag. You've got the beginning the middle and the end, the three most important parts of a story, or so I hear. But then something happens in there somewhere. Doubt creeps in. Not right away but a few thousands words in. You think to yourself, how can I do this? I've got so far to go yet. Like running a marathon or swimming across a great distance, it all comes down to just taking that next step, writing that next word or pulling that next stroke.
I'm at that point in my novel where I think....this'll never work. I like what I've written, think it's even publishing worthy, but, all the same, doubt is creeping in. Not about the quality or plot of the novel, so much, as the getting to the end part of noveling.
I often wonder if other authors feel this, somehow I doubt people like, the much referenced, Stephen King think, don't know if I can write two thousand words today, when his novels usually clock it at over a thousand pages a piece.
I know he gets there the same way we all do, bit by bit.
Here's a bit of what I'm biting off.
Arnold, one of the owners of the guest house, is explaining to Aidan, the detective, their first run in with something, abnormal.
“We went to bed. The alcohol had dulled our nerves and suddenly things didn’t seem too bad. Sleep came easy and before we knew it we were sawing logs. I’m not sure what time it was, we’ve tried to guestimate, but I would say two-ish? A door slammed. Now, I know you haven’t seen the whole place, yet, but there’s a lot of doors here. We both woke up, it was loud, so we could guess that it was, at least, in the blue wing of the house, closer to us. We sat there for a bit, waiting for something, wondering if we had just heard things or if it was real. That stage between awake and asleep can make you think you’ve heard or have seen something strange. Finally, we just kind of looked at each other, and realized that neither of us had been breathing, in our attempt at maximizing what we could hear. Then we both laughed at that. That’s when another door slammed. This time it seemed closer. Now, I remember thinking. ‘I don’t leave doors open.’ We’re a bed and breakfast, a hotel, basically, opened doors aren’t really a customary thing. As I’m thinking this, our door opens, on it’s own.” There was the quick recognition of Aidan’s upturned eyebrow and then Arnold went back to the story. “I can’t even begin to describe how terrified we were at that moment. The worst, for me, I think, was the waiting, knowing that the door would soon slam shut, like the others we had heard. The thing is, it never did. Instead, the room went icy cold. We could see our breath, it was so cold. And from our vantage, we were flush with the door, we could see puffs of breath, coming from the hallway, as well.” Arnold rolled his eyes back in his head and gave a slight shudder, the tension of telling the tale taking it’s toll. “It was there, something was there, but it wasn’t there, all the same.”
Now I'm off to bite a bit more off....wish me luck :)