Right after my post on Wednesday, everything went wrong. Seriously, seriously wrong. Everything I was writing was utter crap. I felt with every atom of my being that I was ruining the thing I'd worked on so hard and so long and put so much love and effort and attention into. I was ready to throw the whole thing out the window.
Because of this, my wife--thank God for her--suggested I take a night off. I did. No writing Wednesday night.
And Thursday started a bit better, I was going through my chapters, plugging right along, but the feeling never went away. I kept feeling like, "No, this is wrong. I am ruining the entire novel." My friend and mentor, Mark Haskell Smith, told me I should simply follow my instincts, and if my instincts are telling me to stop--for the love of everything you hold dear--STOP WRITING.
Another chapter later, I finally listened.
I sat down--after climbing out of bed at close to midnight--with a pen and a scrap of paper my wife and I write our grocery lists on. I wondered what would happen if I simply cut half of this crap that was giving me problems, and it seemed like it would all be better. And like what I'm about to do with my novel, I'll condense the ending.
Basically, I'm restructuring the last few chapters, cutting a few more, and blending a few of the others. I think the overall arc is now EXACTLY as it should be. There will need to be tightening and a few more scenes that need some overhauling, but I think--knock on wood--that I finally have everything in order to make this thing an emotional punch in the face, gut, and genitals.
See you, maybe, on Monday. There may just be a bonus comic instead.