Spent months loving, nurturing, developing, refining and generally never getting enough of my cast. Reach chapter 9 out of 10 and wham, change of mindset. I just want to get it over with. AFAP.
Judging by what happened with the Pluggers, the last stretch of Think-o-mat will again consist of a fortnight of tedium. Writing fast and under unfavorable conditions, to get it done. Rewriting a lot, because this way of proceeding ruins a style that is pretty bad in the first place. Without managing to maintain more than a semblance of the low standard achieved in the previous chapters. The last stretch is as much fun as sorting bills. Why?
There isn’t much significance to be gleaned from a sample of two, but twice is much better than no repeatability and now is the perfect time* to speculate about what causes the phenomenon:
- The actual fun is less in the writing than in the development of the characters. On the last stretch, they are all set in their ways, the story just rolls on to its denouement. This turns the creative process = fun into work = tedium.
- Reaching the end there is no longer any escape from the fact that this is all one big pile of rubbish that should never have been written. The plot, the cast, the style, it all doesn’t make one bit of sense. The daily dire doubts on steroids, minus the chance to escape into plotting the next step.
- Writing the finale is no worse than the earlier phases, but awareness of the approaching ordeal ruins the experience. Like trying to enjoy a good movie when you’ve got a dentist appointment scheduled right after it. Synopsis writing and handling publishing questions would be the root canal therapy equivalents in the authoring business.
- Knowing that once cherished characters will soon be abandoned to their very well known fates calls for emotional stabilization, which triggers a kind of premature mourning. If it was still fun, how would you manage to stop writing at the target point?
Enough speculation. A bigger sample is needed first. Perfect time* to ask the subject matter experts on LinkedIn if they struggle with some sort of last stretch phenomenon.
*Perfect time is an euphemism for active shirking. You can only write one piece at any given time. Blogging and posting on LinkedIn postpones the drudge. Oh, and it’s a new month, too. Words to go and the Aspiring Writers Short Story Challenge call for action.