When the Only Way Out is Not Through

This manuscript has almost been done since June.

Still not done.

Why not?

The ending. It was as genuine as the grass in a cheap Easter basket.

I outlined. I reworked. I swore. I started a dump file that now contains almost 50,000 words that I loved so much I couldn’t bear to delete them, but I also knew I couldn’t put them in the story because they didn’t belong.

The only way out, I have long held, is through. I was going to write this thing if it killed me. I was going to push through until I wrote The End.

Then I remembered that my agent can tell when I’m shoving a square peg into a round hole in order to make a story. And she calls me on it.

And now she’s gotten me trained to the point where I can tell when I am doing just that, and I know enough to stop, and reconsider.

Breathe, Montrose. Use what you’ve learned. Trust the story.

So I went back to the beginning, and carefully picked up all the threads again, evaluating them, considering what they meant. I edited. I thought. I developed the weird concept map thing that somehow works to pull my scenes together into a story.

And it has taken forever. (For forever, read three months).

But it’s almost done.

Sometimes, the only way out is back, not through.

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