At the apex

Hopefully, this will be the last time I make this claim.

But, Broken Skies is nearly done.  There is one more chapter to be written, which I plan to have knocked out before Thanksgiving.  After that comes the editing which I am typically rather fast with.  So, by all intents and purposes, Broken Skies should be done before Christmas.  Which means the new year will begin with sending out query packages.  Which means that I also have to figure out a way to write a one page synopsis for this mind-f*ck of a book.

As it stands, before edits and revisions, the manuscript is 76,822 words long.  This is short by my standards (The Bleeding Room ended up being 126,500 words).  And now, after much debate, I have decided to let you all see why this story had given me such a beating.  See, at its core, Broken Skies is very much a mild-horror/sci-fi book.  But it somehow ended up being this philisophical analyzation of life, death, love and despair.

For instance, this following passage, which is pretty close to the book’s climax, was rewritten 8 times.  As a horror writer at heart, I am not good at writing these types of things.  And I’m sure that by the time the editing process is done, this will have been changed another 5 times or more.  Opinions, comments and sugegstions are all welcome.   All you need to know to make sense of this passage is that our main character, Trevor, is walking through a void-like place that he earlier refers to as “a moon orbiting every idea any philosopher has ever had of Hell.”  Also, Hunter is his friend and Anne is his ex-wife.

He knew that he had to keep his wits until he came to whatever the darkness was leading him to.  And the only way he knew how to keep insanity at bay was to keep his mind in something that at least resembled working order.  He dug back into his memories and thought of his parents and of Hunter, but those memories were fleeting and somehow inconsequential.  So instead, his mind went where it usually ventured when it was troubled or uneasy.

            He thought of Anne.  Yet, simple thoughts and memories of her would not keep this lurching insanity away.  He felt it in his head, coiled like a snake that might strike at the smallest passing motion.  So instead of distracting his lunacy with mere thoughts that it seemed to swat away with no problem, Trevor dug a bit deeper.

            It wasn’t just her face, or intricate memories like their time on the pier or special times in bed.  It wasn’t even the act of marriage or the hopes and dreams that they had shared.  Nor was it the perfect life that they had envisioned for themselves.  All of those things were only dreams, hopeful thoughts spoken into a world that quite often left dreams unattended to and useless.

            There were other things.  More important things.  There was the absolute certainty that he had belonged to her and vice versa.  There was the knowledge that he had finally managed to expose his heart to some light, helping it to shake off the remnants of the darkness to which he had kept it confined.

            He had to remember the simple things, the moments that pass as quick as breaths in a winter wind…the intangible things that carried more weight than any physical form could withstand. 

            He had to remember the tension in the air, the thickness that seemed to physically manifest itself between them as their bodies leaned closer to one another.  And then their lips would meet and that sensation was nearly outdone by the smell of her hair, the sound of her sighing and the feel of her pressing into him.  Then there was the opening of her mouth against his, her tongue prying and soft.  He had to remember how it felt when their tongues would meet, the muscles that creates so many words of hate and hope, melding to signify unity and love.  He had to remember all of this, how her tongue was so soft that it made him envision clouds and fog, so warm that there was no way he could ever imagine being cold again, so inviting that he knew he would always have a home no matter how lost he may be.

            He had to remember all of these things and the way that he had lost it all.  It had been his fears of life and death, his fears of mortality and never understanding the fragile state of life, that had driven her away.

            Why should he allow that same thing to happen here?

            Given the gravity of everything he had seen while in this place and the magic that it seemed to be capable of, what was the point in giving up?  There was something grand at work here; behind the sleight of hand that fate or God or whatever had orchestrated in this place, there was a purpose and a reason to it all.  He could feel it in the rolling blackness overhead and the magnetic pull that he felt the darkness had on him.

            So he walked on.

And from that, perhaps you can see why I always feel battered and beaten after clicking on SAVE when working on this book.

But all the same, it’s nearly done.  And even if it ends up being terrible, I think there will be at least that small sense of accomplishment.  It feels pretty sweet, being here at the apex of the story, and knowing that I nearly gave up on it at one time.  It also helps to take the sting out of miserably failing NaNo’s deadline.

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