So ends the story Brink. Or, at least, the part I wrote for National Novel Writing Month. I’ve actually written a bit more on the pleas of Dan and Megan, but I’m not going to post those yet.
The story could officially end here, but, as you can see, it’s an infuriating cliffhanger for those who want to know how everything gets sorted out. I suppose that ending would be a cheap way out. I don’t do cheap, fortunately.
If you know anything about me, you know my favorite character is Ruel. As an example (referencing my Characters entry), Ruel’s story is one I’ve been desperate to change. Pardon the spoiler, but, as the characters have said within the story itself, Ruel is supposed to die. I have been trying to find a way to keep him alive.
The conflicting personalities of the characters drove be absolutely crazy at times, but gave a humanness to the story it might not have had otherwise. This is the first story I’ve been able to claim I have no idea what the plot is. When asked to describe the story, I can’t, other than to say it’s about that age-old question: can you change Fate? The plot is, I guess, a journey—for both the characters and myself as the writer.
Brink was an experiment. I had no idea how I would fare trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I strongly doubted I could, right up until I reached the finish line, over 200 words beyond the minimum.
I had never written a story start-to-finish before. I usually write scenes scattered throughout, then go through in editor mode and adjust, then tie them together. I’ve never written in a time-crunch before…okay, that isn’t entirely true: I’ve written short stories for friends’ birthdays or as gifts for other occasions before. I’ve always more or less known the plot for a given story, where it starts and how it finishes. But never something I didn’t know what the end was like. I still don’t know how things will turn out with Brink. I think that’s why writing it was so difficult.
Though it was a challenge, it was fun, and a bit of a confidence builder. It was also an eye-opener to what happens to my abilities under pressure, when the editor isn’t allowed out. I didn’t go back and read through—or rework—any of Brink while I wrote it. What you see is exactly how it came out. A few of the scenes and conversations I was aware of to some degree in advance, but I didn’t skip ahead to write them. They came when it was their time in the chronology.
Though I wasn’t happy with a couple of sections when I wrote them (Ruel’s first spar with Danel, for example), they still worked and still fit.
Now if I can just get the second book to fall into place like the first did…