I am writing the climax to Silksinger. Deep breath. It's a big, juicy, thrumming, scary, heart-wrenching, revelatory scene, maybe the "biggest" I've ever written, and tackling it is. . . scary. I have all these ideas, and I have this vision of how awesome it can be, and it's kind of terrifying. I had this thought yesterday as I made my way slowly through it, that I felt like I was gouging my way through. And that's kind of appropriate since the whole thing takes place in caves that were long ago gouged out of the mountain by dragon claws. I think I need to borrow some dragon claws to get this done! (Those above are komodo dragon claws, by the way.)
I wrote in Not For Robots about how the "exploratory draft" is like bushwhacking through a jungle. That metaphor is feeling more true to me now than ever. The first time through a big scene like this, it feels like big, slashing, ugly, hacking cuts through dense matter, and I long to be done with this stage and on to the next. But without this stage, there is never a next. It must be done.
So, mixed metaphors and all that, but they have something in common -- gouging, bushwhacking -- it's the task of penetrating some dense, unyeilding substance. Rock. Jungle. A scene. It's work. For us perfectionists, this can be so unpleasant. So hard. To subdue the persnickity old maiden aunts that dwell in our minds wanting everything to be laid out just so, for our scenes to be born full-grown, like Athena from the head of Zeus! Well, bonk those persnickity old biddies on the noggin! Ehh. I shouldn't even be writing this right now. I should be writing, you know, that. What am I doing here, I ask you? Quivering in fear? Covering my eyes and saying, "If I can't see you, you can't see me?" Kind of. But now I will get back to my gouging and my machete.
The dragon says:
Interestingly, it occurs to me this is not the first time I have used komodo dragon threats on myself. That's kind of weird!