Monday, 23 July 2012

Writing the scary endings

I've enjoyed writing A Baby's Bones, and now I'm only a few scenes from the end I realise I'm fearful of writing them. Not scared of whether they'll be any good or not (I only know that when I read them back in a few weeks time) but because I know the scenes are very tense and threatening. I creep myself out sometimes, and then I have nightmares. It's obviously all in my head all the time, so I don't know how it works that writing it gives me such a reaction. Do other people scare themselves writing thrillers and horror?

My main character Sage has a lot at stake, so I'm protective of her. But unless she's in real danger, as much as the woman in the past, it won't explain the horrible events of the past. It's strange, they are all fictional but somehow they seem - well, real. When you fall in love with a character in a book, it's real enough to get emotional about them. I've lost count of the number of times I've muttered to the words on a  page: 'Oh, get on with it!' or 'Don't go there!'. Even as a child, reading CS Lewis, I would always hope Edmund wouldn't go with the witch, even though it was important to the plot that he did so, or that they wouldn't torment Aslan, even though that breaks the spell...

So, I'm chasing the chickens around the garden and faffing about with chores just because I finally have a list of final scenes and I'm nervous of starting them. I know what will happen. I won't be able to stop writing, my back and neck will stiffen up but I won't notice, cups of tea will line up on the desk, brought in by my son although I won't see him come and go. And thousands of irresistible words will scramble untidily on the page, because I won't have time to correct typos or worry about proper punctuation and my internal editor will sit gibbering. Maybe I should just get on with it.