I was staring at the novel I just finished and trying to figure out what to do next. This is the part that I hate, the part where I don’t have the next project yet. I’m still choosing what to work on next, you see? But, then there’s the novel I just finished. It needs an edit. Not the whole thing, really – but the last quarter or so needs a strong going through. I say that because I am so obsessive about these things that I’ve been editing and reediting all along, so the beginning is quite polished.
But something was bothering me. I kept opening the novel and looking at the end. I’d read and reread it but couldn’t put my finger on what was bothering me.
Friday night, I figured it out. I was staring at the end and I didn’t see anything jumping out at me or shutting up that nagging voice in the back of my head, so I started over and read the first few chapters. That’s when I realized that I had left something unresolved – a loose end. Something setup in the beginning and then never brought to head. Those are the worst. This led to my staying up til 2 am redoing the ending to resolve that loose end.
The resulted in that nagging feeling going away. I went to sleep and woke feeling good about the book again.
Saturday, I went to my writers group. They took a look at the first few chapters. The comments were varied and mostly positive, but a few stick out in my mind. For example, we went on a 20 minute digression into drawing a bow, and whether or not someone could draw a bow to fire and then hold the bow that way for more than a few heartbeats. The consensus was yes, that the act of drawing the bow takes more effort versus holding it that way – and this was from someone who is an archer, so I tend to believe ’em.
We also spent an inordinate amount of time talking about the wind. It would take too long to explain that to you.
Beyond all of that, I am continuously impressed with the knowledge people keep in their heads. Writing groups, especially when you have a good one, can really help you figure out the details that will take the story to the next level. I guess the moral of the story is ‘get thee to a writers group’…