I’ve been circling this story for three days now, circling like a prize-fighter sizing up his foe. I’m looking for the right opening, throwing a pretend jab every now and again just to try out his defenses. I did some math on it yesterday, and thought about the situation overall. What this story is really about came in a flash in mid-morning, right in the middle of a meeting at work, actually. It settled over the next twenty hours. I think I’ve got something now. At least the next 500 words or so came in a big gloppy flow, which is always a good sign.
I can feel one more blazing moment of insight right under my skin, though. And I think that moment will be the one that lifts this piece from merely competent fiction to becoming a memorable story (one is making a large assumption of one’s own competence here, but I trust you’ll get the point).
To me, this is the kind of thing about being a creator of stuff that make it all worthwhile. Some people, I think, really hate the feeling of the thing they are working on being almost there. I admit there are times where I fall into that camp. Probably too many times. But when I’m in the right frame of mind, that “almost there” sensation is the thrill. You’re out on a tightrope, you know? Will you fall? Will you freeze up in the middle of a stride? Will you make it to the other side just fine, and if so what the heck will you do then? You take another step, feeling the wind kicking up. The rope shimmies under your shifting balance. You’re almost there …