Friday, November 17, 2006

Messy Fiction

I am on the countdown to finishing Crimson Eve, third in the Kanner Lake series. About forty pages left, then one last read-through with some editing. Maybe four days of work.

I have never written a book quite like this. The end is messier than the beginning.

Oh, sure, the suspense plot will be solved. I don’t think readers would be satisfied if I left them hanging. But underlying that plot, this book is really about our past. And how our choices in the past can affect our future. Of course, the past is past, and we can’t change it. But we are creating a past every day by the choices we make in the present. And those choices direct what happens tomorrow.

The problem is, the repercussions of all the events in Crimson Eve are huge. A lot of people’s lives will be shockingly changed, inextricably intertwined. All this will cause major upheaval, months, even years of tears, of soul-searching and regrouping. Sounds like the beginning of a book, right? Nope, this is the resolution.

Well, there’s simply nothing to be done but tie up the suspense ends and leave the rest where it lies. I will infuse hope, of course. I really don’t care to become a darkly minded, existential writer. But there’s no way for this to be a happy, all-is-well ending. All is definitely not well.

But isn’t life like that. And really, that’s the point. That when the past raises an ugly head and bites the present, people suffer--many times people other than just ourselves. Answers and fixes don’t come easy. God can help us through, if we’re willing to let him, but we still face serious debts to pay.

When I was a teenager, a woman said a very wise thing to me: “God will forgive you, but nature won’t.” Nature’s not going to forgive my characters, either.

Sigh. Somehow I have to make this all work. To bring a satisfying conclusion to the suspense, yet depict life in its messy consequences without leaving the reader feeling cheated...

It’s going to be a long four days.

9 comments:

Susanne said...

Praying for you that it will come out just the way it is supposed to.

CHickey said...

Can't wait to read it!

Tina said...

I know I'm going to love the honesty in this book, Brandilyn. And Susanne has it right, let's pray for Brandilyn's long next four days.

I just love that quote you gave, "God will forgive you, but nature won’t.”

D. Gudger said...

I'm looking forward to this book - especially now that I know it will be "messy". I've often been irritated by neat wraps where everbody lives happily ever after. My own WIP is not going to be "neat". Thanks for venturing out there and showing that choices and actions have on-going consequences. Too many people live life in a "happily ever after" state.

Air Force Family said...

Looking forward to reading this book! Praying that it will turn out just the way you want it and that you will get plenty of rest after your done.

John Robinson said...

Wow, Brandilyn. Your stuff sounds like mine. My grandpa used to have a saying: "Somebody's gotta pay the freight." And somebody always does. My Joe Box books, while showing hope, also show the uncomfortable consequences of our life choices. In other words, they don't end neatly, because life isn't neat. Ain't it funny how that works?

Robin Caroll said...

Sounds like real life to me, Brandilyn. Write on, Lady!

R.G. said...

Love the quote, and here's my tweak based on life experience: "God will forgive you, but some people won't."

Glad your book will have a messy ending. I'm finding that the "happily ever after" can be a possibility even in the messiest of circumstances, but the definition of happy has changed and the scars always remain.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

You've got a God-given talent, and you use it to the best of your ability...and we all love you for that!

I'm prayin', you keep writin'