I have only the vaguest idea of where the story is going right now. I’m a long way off of the planned outline, writing into the dark, following the conflict, and asking always, “What could go wrong?”
“What could go wrong?” is the right question for this section, for this book, for the aftermath of the resolution of one enormous problem I came up with over the past week or so… and for the whole slew of problems that resolution has created.
I love this story, these characters, this world… and I am fascinated by what’s going on now. And because I don’t know what’s going to happen next, it makes going in to work each morning really damn easy.
Because I get to let my fingers put words to page, and I get to find out.
I don’t usually write this way. I usually have a line-for-scene outline built, and while I get spontaneous material and outright surprises writing that way, everything more or less fits within what I planned.
This is something that happened that… well… took me completely by surprise, changed the nature of the story universe I’ve built, and makes what happens next wildly important.
And while I can definitely bring the series to a permanent close in this novel, what happened with my characters over this least week does would make it really easy to write a whole lot of future novels in the same world.
Gut says I want to do that. Gut says that this world is a world worth staying in for as many books as I can make time for. Because this world keeps surprising me, catching me off guard, throwing challenges at me that I have to solve, and pushing me to think outside of boxes and systems to solve them.
A helluva lot of years into this gig, I’m still finding new ways to do things.
That as much as the stories I get to write is the thing that keeps this job delightful, and enchanting. And just really damn fun.
And that my Ohio world is pushing me into so many corners and forcing me to fight my way out of them is what makes THIS world worth writing in for a lot more than the four novels I’ve already written and the fifth one that I’m now halfway through.