Saturday, November 07, 2009

A Revelation

I had one. I've been writing, folks, working on Book Three. I've a long, long way to go still. I mean a long way to go. But that's not anything I haven't budgeted for. I'm still planning on delivering this one with about the same gap as I had between books 1 and 2. Consistency, that's what I'm going for. But in this case that also means I'm in the fairly early stages of cranking this one out.

Thing is, I've been living with something of a conundrum for about the last nine months. I knew one thing that was meant to be the climatic event of one of the story lines. It's solid. It's there. It's the culmination of three book's worth of character and plot and history work. It's big.

Other thing is... I had this other plot element that in introduced in the first chapter. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. Had an idea for how it tied in to the very end of the book, but the problem was that tie-in clashed with the previously mentioned conclusion. Seemed like I couldn't have them both. Until last night.

I gave my wife some stuff from the new book to read. She did. We were in the kitchen talking about it, and I got to mentioning this clashing plot idea problem. I opened my mouth and said, "So obviously it's not going to work to have both. I've tried but I ca..."

I literally paused in mid-sentence. Why? Because for no good reason at all I'd just figured out how I could have both things. Between beginning that sentence and getting four words into it the answer jumped out of hiding and starting do a shimmying hula hop victory dance right in front of my face. Just like that.

Weird.

And that, friends, is a bit of my creative process. I kissed the wife and danced around myself, and then stood at the sliding door staring out at the backyard for a while, amazed at how this whole process works.

I got my doubled-barrel ending. I'm very, very pleased about that.

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15 Comments:

Blogger sburnap said...

Among computer programmers, it is very well known that the act simply telling another program about the issue you are having can lead you directly to a solution for a problem you have been wrestling with for hours or days.

12:17 PM  
Blogger The Real Deal said...

Wow, that's exciting, David! Both as a reader looking forward to the double-barreled ending, and as a writer hoping to strike a similar vein of inspiration gold.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was supremely satisfying to read. A play-by-play of the writing of book three. Even better than LSU-Alabama.

Mike

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Ethan Iktho said...

Funny, the process that's called "writing". In the end, it seems it is always a question of communicating.

When you're all on your own, you're the Creator, you can decide whatever you want. WHATEVER. And you want to communicate, give others what you've imagined. But one day, the blockade. dead end street, no way out. And then... The simple fact that you are communicating with somebody who can understand you gives you some kind of mysterious feedback and, well, the blockade in you mind is gone, and the answer is obvious.

Strange, creating. Might be the most beautiful and mysterious thing in the world, when you think about it.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Steven Till said...

Congrats, David! Have you determined yet if book 3 will be the final book in the series, or do you see the story extending beyond that? In the writing process, at what point is that determination made? Does it just hit you that the series should continue on, or do you know that it should end at a certain point?

9:54 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Steven,

Book 3 should end this trilogy. I've felt the ending for a long time. It exists. I just have to write my way to it.

I can imagine writing more in the Acacian world in the future, but I see that as separate from this particular story arc. We'll see, though. We'll see...

11:56 AM  
Blogger Sorley said...

er, not sure how my sister would like be referred to as "the wife", but glad you have got your plot lines sorted. Haven't read the second book yet but will get there!

2:01 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

It's great to hear how you aren't going to make us wait forever for the next and final installment (a la George RR Martin). I just finished TOL a couple weeks ago. Great ending! Book 3 sounds like it will also have quite an ending. Ready to pre-order now!

6:03 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Sorley,

I reckon Gudrun will be bringing complimentary copies of the book over with her later this month. Maybe I should make one out to Ben!

Tim,

So glad you liked TOL. As for the next one, it's very important to me that I avoid any enormous gap. I'll try hard to make sure I stay on schedule. I always have so far!

9:25 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Ethan Iktho wrote:

"Strange, creating. Might be the most beautiful and mysterious thing in the world, when you think about it."

Yeah.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Christopher Ng Wai Chung said...

Hi David,

I enjoyed Acacia and the Other Lands immensely. By any chance will your world be turned into a product for a role playing game ?

Regards

1:33 AM  
Blogger Kate Elliott said...

Coming in late as I've been traveling, and I wanted to say how much I love this post as it describes exactly That, whatever That is, except we know it when it hits us. Sometimes the unconscious mind cannot be hurried up as it must take the journey at its own pace. The biggest thing I've learned over many years of writing is to trust myself that if I am patient the things I need to know will come, in their own time. Maybe not conveniently, but eventually.

6:45 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Christopher,

Thank you. A role playing game? I wish, but I've not heard of any movement on that front yet. Maybe some day...

Kate,

Yes, that trusting yourself thing is really valuable. You still have to get up everyday and do what work you can. But if you do, things come together, often in unexpected ways and at unexpected moments.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Mary Robinette Kowal said...

I totally know that moment you described. The mind is an amazing thing. I can't wait to read book 3

1:45 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Thanks Mary. I can't wait to have a finished book for you to read!

10:48 AM  

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