I took this picture where I work a few days ago. Look at this mess. The parking lot was fine, but there were problems with the curbing. To fix the curbing, a whole section of the parking lot had to be dug up and the spaces were unusable. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how perfect the concrete is, you have to bust it up.
I’m working on a new ending when the current ending worked fine. It was fine, but that’s all it was. It wasn’t a zinger. It wasn’t wow. It was more like an ‘eh’. Don’t get me wrong. I loved parts of it. But even when I read it in sequence for the first time, part of me knew that I was taking the easy road. Perhaps I had poured concrete over a large root to a dead tree. Perhaps I had poured over an uneven area. Over time, it became more and more obvious that i would have to dig up that section and make it better.
But it was paved! (Sigh). It was a beautiful piece of concrete. (Insert justification here.) It looked perfect. But the characters whispered to me that this ending wouldn’t hold up to foot traffic. They didn’t think anyone would buy it.
“I would so not do that,” Windsor told me, her hands on her hips.
“She’ll do it, because she loves me,” Grady said and winked. That’s when I knew it wasn’t going to work, because Windsor wasn’t there yet, and Grady was still being an ass.
William Faulkner once said “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” It doesn’t matter how beautiful the writing is, or how cool the scene is, if it doesn’t contribute to the story arc it has to die. I can’t wait to see my fresh new paving.