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July 29, 2013

Real Life–or rather, the part of real life that does not include cogitating behind a keyboard–intruded this weekend, in the form of a need to deal with one of those low-grade annoyances that turns into a Problem, or is about to if you don’t Do Something NOW.

So most of my writing time turned into spreadsheet time. Piffle. But necessary piffle. Throw in a family function and a neighborhood social event Saturday, taking the boy to camp Sunday and…

Yeah. Zero words on the screen.

However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t do any writing. For one thing, one of the spreadsheets was a timeline of events for the WIP (now necessary as I begin to reconcile the plots). In filling in events I knew lurked before the beginning of the story, I had another one of those moments–is everything I write going to be like this?–where I hit on a radically different frame for everything I’ve done so far in the novel, and an ending to match. The new ending avoids some of the issues the original ending carries with it, but creates others. Moreover–I must decide if I *like* it better.

What’s interesting is this one of those occasions where I don’t think having a written outline to begin with would matter, because these epiphanies are not only capricious, but contingent on other developments. To wit: I had to write a particular scene with a particular exchange between characters before some of the ramifications of the major plot device in the story became apparent to me. Once they did, I realized things could easily go very differently the last few chapters…but conveniently, not before then.

I’ve had a clear picture of how I wanted the novel to end in my head pretty much the whole time. Now I have two clear pictures, which is not a stable quantum state.

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