The wind beneath my wings

Oh wow, what a relief; I am finally finding my way to the end of the first draft of the new book. I’ve been fighting with structure for what seems like months, although it’s probably only weeks, and every time I approached the gritty matter of The Resolution and The Ending they defeated me all over again. It’s reminded me of the days when I’d run as fast as I possibly could along the beach at home, trying to get enough wind under my kite to lift it into the air.  Sometimes the kite would lift into the air before I collapsed breathless on the sand, and sometimes it didn’t.  The wind beneath my wings is what I’ve needed, and it’s been in short supply.

When I’m not feeling anxious or panicky about it, this ‘writer in search of the right ending’ syndrome intrigues me. You start off with a vision in your head of how things are going to go with your story (brand new kite tucked under your arm, kite tail neatly decorated with little bows, kite string wound into a handy ball) and start the journey with high hopes. But somehow – and I don’t know how this happens – the wind changes, or the tide’s too far in, or the kite’s got a rip in it that you hadn’t noticed. And suddenly the story loses its energy, or your characters veer off down side alleys and won’t come back to life, and you lose faith in the whole enterprise. I was never going to be able to fly this kite, I think to myself.  It doesn’t belong to me after all.

Then all of a sudden the wind comes around and your kite lifts up and it’s away! And you can see just where it’s headed and you run to catch up, and the wind lifts you and you’re off again, running across the sand. It seems so natural when it’s working, and so alien and impossible when it’s not.

Now I know what’s going to happen, and what the ending will be. It’s not what I envisaged when I started but it feels right, so I’m sticking with it as long as the wind lasts. With any luck I’ll have it all in place in the next few days. Then I’m taking 10 days’ holiday, and I’ll come back ready to tackle it all again – but at least by then there’ll be something to engage with.

Thanks, wind and weather.


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