You ever experience an epiphany? I needed one, and boy, did I get one earlier this week.
As I've said, I've been working on the sequel to Failstate. It is, as of yet, untitled. I'm working on it. Well, not really. That's not important. What is important is this: I was feeling a bit stuck, a little bit blocked. I was writing a few thousand words here, a few thousand words there, but it felt very much like I was spinning my wheels and not going anywhere. I knew what the story was supposed to be. I knew what needed to happen. But for some reason, something that I couldn't put my finger on, I knew something wasn't right. I was missing something.
The maddening thing was this: I had no idea what I was missing. I had no idea if I had taken a wrong turn somewhere in the plot. I had no idea if I had made a major mistake somewhere along the line. Just this persistent feeling of "wrongness."
But then I had an epiphany. And it's thanks to, in large part, sleep deprivation.
This past Friday, our church had a youth lock-in. I didn't stay for the whole thing. Instead, I went in late, played a game called Underground Church with the kids, learned a game from them called "Ninja" (apparently quite popular in our local high school), and played another game with them called The Werewolves of Millers Hollow. I didn't get home until 2:30. My mind didn't shut off until 3:30.
Needless to say, when I got up at 7:00 the next morning, I was tired.
In that state of sleep deprivation, I tried writing. Didn't go so well at first. But then, with half of my brain shut off and desperately craving sleep, I had the epiphany. I realized what was wrong.
I was missing a bridge.
I don't want to go too much into the plot right now because, hey, I'm in the middle of my first draft and things are in flux. But for a long time, the plot of the story was feeling a bit disconnected. There are two distinct . . . well, phases to the plot. And while I thought I had found a way to link them together, I really hadn't.
On Saturday, I realized what the bridge had to be. It was right there in front of me the whole time. I just hadn't spotted it.
And that's all it took. My "muse" is humming along. I'm feeling the desperate need to write. And my wordcount shows it.
Right now, Failstate #2 is at 60,647 words, meaning that I've been able to add 11,957 words this week. Holy cow! I'm almost tempted to keep writing right now to break the 12k mark.
In spite of that, though, I'm still a little worried. My self-imposed deadline of May 31st is looming large and I have a lot of ground to cover yet. And I'm also a bit worried about different details of the plot. I'm not sure I'm doing them all justice. Oh well. Time will tell.
Maybe I'll have another epiphany along the way.