Write to discover. I have heard this advice so often I have forgotten how true it is. One of my works in progress has been moving along but I kept feeling like something was missing, like there was this big story with interesting characters who are living through a plot that is leading nowhere. I knew what the ending should contain, who dies, who lives, who sacrifices something yet I did not really know how it would end. With short stories I feel like I need to know, or at least think I know, how a story will end. I can always change it when I write the end and the original idea no longer fits.
That is more difficult with a novel. There are so many characters and so many plot lines and threads to tie together to make a satisfying end it feels to me I need to have it all planned out. Today I was challenged to think differently.
The ending, and the plot tying, and the character resolutions all became very clear to me this morning. Was it just the right time? Did my subconscious finally just figure it out? Sort of. The threads fell into place, woven together in a resolution that just makes sense because I wrote so much of the story it became clear. It was inevitable.
Just write, and it will come. Advice like that sounds like a meditation instructor is giving me writing advice but it is true. I must plod along, sometimes aimlessly putting stupid words together in sentences and paragraphs that will be cut later but they are not a waste. They are leading me down a path that eventually defines what comes next and what comes last.
One of, if not the, great pleasure of writing is living the stories that are in my mind. The only way to do that is to keep putting words on paper to discover what comes next.