Coming to the Dark Side, Where (Sadly) There Are No Cookies

It’s been a bumpy week of writing. I’m so far along in the first draft of the young adult story I’ve been working on that I can practically taste the ending that’s in sight.

But I still have to get there. And the road to the ending isn’t a pretty one.

For the entire seeming ages on which I’ve been writing this story, I’ve known how it was going to end and what was going to happen to get the characters there. I’ve known that there was going to have to be real unhappiness—even ugliness—at this point in the story. Now I have to write it. And, honestly, I’m just not someone who naturally tends toward the dark side of things.

Even if you did tend that way, though, I can’t imagine it’s easy to write about difficult things.

To say that you’ve grown attached to your characters is basically to say that you write. It’s impossible to spend this much time with anyone—even someone fictional—and not be completely invested in their lives. For someone who forms attachments rather too easily, it’s a real problem.

Because when it comes right down to it, I know what the story needs and what has to happen to my characters…but I don’t want have to be the one to do it to them.

How do you write Harry Potter’s walk to face Voldemort in what he’s been assured will be certain death? How do you make the soaring spirit of Anne Shirley deal with the crushing blow of losing her first child? How do you leave Hazel without Augustus?

The answer is: I don’t know.

So I procrastinate. I tackle my reading list. I dabble with other story ideas. I write a blog post.

What I really need to do, though, is put my nose back to the grindstone and face up to writing on the dark side. If anyone’s willing to provide cookies, just let me know.