Saturday, November 8, 2014

The final battle approaches...

'Arlo and Jake Lost Partner' is in it's last chapters. The stage is being set for the final battle between good and evil. Or as Arlo would say, 'Time to kick butt and take names.'

The book is at 50k words and closing in on the 60k that I'm comfortable with for the series. I've still got tons of rewrite and improvements to make. I'm making notes everywhere that I see a chance to make a scene more real or the dialog more snarky.

Bringing all the players into position for the story arc ending is both amazingly hard and an outright hoot! Though I've had a vague idea of what I want to happen, I have not sketched out all the details yet. I'm always doodling around with 'what if this' or 'suddenly this goes wrong'. I don't have the final answer yet. That's kind of exciting, because once you down the deer, the fun is gone and the hard work begins.

Did that throw you? It's something I heard years ago from an elk hunter, up in Colorado. He said that hunting was the best thing he ever did. Being outdoors in the hills, dressed in camo to blend into the trees and wearing a bright orange vest and hat so that dim witted weekenders didn't shoot you. Yeah. Think about how that looks to the elk.

One year we saw a herd of cows on a ranch we passed to the hunting site. They looked odd from the distance. When we got closer, we saw the word 'Cow' spray  painted on the sides of every cow. Hmmm. Maybe we should paint 'Not a Deer!' on our vests...

Anyway, back to the metaphor. Our friend said that being outdoors, walking around the hills looking for elk sign was incredibly relaxing and exciting at the same time. Your senses open up. You smell everything. You hear everything. You see colors that you normally just ignore. The air smells of fresh leaves and berries. I swear you can smell the creek water from 100 yards away.

But. Once you down your animal, all that vanishes. Now you have to field dress your kill and get it back to camp. That has it's own wonder but it's different. Sort of anticlimactic.

Same thing with the final scenes in a book. Stalking the right setups, playing with alternatives, exploring 'what if's' is an amazing feeling. Wonderful.

But once you 'know' how it ends, the high of the chase is over. The hard work of making it all come together begins.

I hope I do it justice.

Be cool!
Be!