Stress and Writing and Magic

By Holly Lisle

In spite of having great wordcounts the last few days, I can’t really say I’ve had a eureka moment with THE RUBY KEY. The story was going as I’d expected, and flowing smoothly, and I was liking what I got. But nothing kicked my feet out from under me, slammed my head on the floor, and made me go, “Wow … so that’s what’s going on.”

Today didn’t seem to be the day that would change all that. Writing started badly. I’ve been stressed out about a work-related issue—unfortunately, a really significant one—for the last couple of weeks, and today I went to work late, I struggled for words, and then due to a glitch in my writing program combined with one of those slam-the-keys-in-the locked-car moments, lost every word I’d done.

That didn’t bode well, and I ended up giving up, going out and doing housework, and watching an episode of Firefly with the kid, who’d finished his school work already.

When I came back to it, though, I was clipping along at a pace of about 250 words every ten minutes, and during the second ten-minute run, BAM! I saw the first climactic scene, the second climactic scene, and the ending, and how they tied together. The magic of the whole thing stunned me. I’ve been putting things into the story that didn’t really have a reason to be there, until suddenly this epiphany hit me, and they did.

It was a beautiful thing. Didn’t get the day’s full complement of words, but the ones I got more than made up for that.

Genna is on her way to her own execution, incidentally.

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