I'm a single scene away from finishing the first draft of my work in progress. When it's done it will be around 90,000 words of first person mystery set in the near-future. It's not a dystopian world, but it is a little dark and, unfortunately, not as unlikely as I wish it were.
It's a story of expectation and severe disappointment, of having to steer your life in a direction you never imagined or wanted, finding some measure of success there and then having it pulled away again. It's a story of the power of friendship and connection, of systemic deception and the relief of believing the lies that everyone else believes. It's about loyalty and cruelty. One day the characters might look back and say it had something to do with love as well.
It first arrived in my head in three parts: the world which is ours but both more advanced and - due to a single large difference - more primitive; the main character who is living a normal life, which is neither what she was born to nor trained for; and the final scene, in which everything changes.
And now it's time to write that scene, and I'm having a really hard time. It's not that I can't figure out what happens or find the words to convey it. No, I know exactly what happens. I just don't know if I can do this, after everything the characters have gone through. It seems so wrong, so unfair. I've been sitting here for a half hour, trying to argue myself out of it. For their sake.
And so, of course, it has to happen.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Following is a paragraph from my work in progress, which I haven't named or examined deeply enough to determine genre. I am enjoying writing it. The characters are not exactly enjoying being in it.
I tumbled, bounced off something sharp and caught for a second on a utilidor before gravity reared up and hauled me over the edge. My left femur broke, the edges of the bone shearing away from each other and waking nerve endings I hadn’t known existed. Then a man came out of the house. Not the owner, maybe a groundskeeper who’d been taking a break or a cook with no regard for hygiene. His hair was greasy. He wore threadbare brown pants and a rough brown shirt, and the second he saw me he stalked over and stabbed me with a short, thick knife.