I took a walk this morning and stumbled upon a decent metaphor for what I’m going through with my novel right now. I crossed the 65k word mark last night which made me happy. It’s kind of an odd mark to celebrate because its not as exciting as the 60k mark where I know I beat out all previous drafts of Lunchbox Hero, and it’s not nearly as cool as the 70k mark that means I’ve official arrived at solid novel length, but I’m a big believer in small milestones and this is a good one. It means I’m getting closer to the end. I still don’t know what end I’m working toward but something happened last night that I think will bring me toward home.
When I’m in the initial stages of writing I follow my instinct and throw plot twists in and send my story off in random directions to see where things take me. Well I did the same thing last night, threw in a twist I wasn’t quite expecting but I think it started bringing the story closer together, not shooting it out in another direction. This hasn’t really happened to me before. So how does that relate to my walk?
Well, for the first half of my walk I just followed streets and went down trails and generally amused myself by seeing where things would take me. But after about half way I started thinking about how to get home. I didn’t immediately make a straight line toward my house, for one I had no idea where I was, but mostly I knew it wasn’t time to go home yet. But I started making guesses about which direction home might lie. Sort of like my story.
I continued wandering around until I finally saw a street name I recognized and this was approaching the half hour mark of my walk and I knew I wanted to be home within 15-20 minutes so I went down that street. That’s what the twist was like last night. I spotted something I recognized that I knew would take me home. Now it wasn’t a straight shot home once I was on the street. I was at an end of it I wasn’t familiar with and still had some interesting side trips and it took me a little longer to get home than I expected, but I knew I was on the right path.
I think I’m on the right path home with the novel. Finally.