Think Big

I’m getting close to the end of the second draft of Werewolf Story, which is super exciting. For me, second drafts are still For My Eyes Only. Third drafts actually resemble books. So the second draft is still a bit of a mess, but a mess much closer to what the final product will be than the first draft was (lol first drafts). I have almost all the pieces now. I know these characters; I know their story. Now it’s time to tell it in a better and better and better way.

Putting my goal in indelible internet-ink: a query-able draft by the end of this year.

Putting my hubris in indelible internet-ink: I can totally do that.

One thing I do have to figure out is how best to describe that feeling. You know the one, or I hope you do. That feeling where every nerve is alive with purpose and love and a joy so great it feels like anguish. Which, looking over that last sentence, is as good a description as any, but how do I infuse my character’s narration with that feeling? How do I let it run over every action at this point in the book? And another thing feeling — the feeling of wanting something so badly you think you might die of it, except the wanting would never let you die. (I know that feeling well. It’s how I feel about having a writing career.)

Those feelings are big. They’re uncontainable. One word for them is hallelujah, which is why I have the last line of Leonard Cohen’s song tattooed on my body. (With nothing on my tongue but hallelujah.) I like big feelings. I equate them with monsters. Monsters are too big. They spill over. They expand to fill and reveal all dark spaces with the light they have within them. People are afraid of monsters because dark spaces are meant to stay dark. We’re not supposed to see what’s there.

But I want to see, because I want to write about it. I want to describe the triumph of joyful monsters.

I’m feeling overly philosophic perhaps because I’m dealing with some Health Stuff. Health Stuff sometimes makes me feel rather small, like I’m a being confined to inches of discomfort or pain. But I’m not. I mean, I give much worse than I’ve got myself to my characters, and they still manage to be glorious, enormous, transcendent monsters.

Another phrase that I will tattoo on my body at some point: watch me. I mean this the way it’s used in Patrick Ness’s The Knife of Never Letting Go, where it comes to signify the defiant drive to be the best version of oneself.

I will write monsters, and I will become one. Watch me, hallelujah.

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