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The Fate of my Characters

In thrall to the fate of my characters.

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Sunday night on a long weekend and I'm in my small, dark room upstairs writing - well, editing to be precise. Now it is 10 PM. and still I'm at it. This must be my zillionth edit and I think I'll never be finished with it. What kind of a life is this? How does one finish a novel, or should the question be: can a writer ever get to the end? Can a writer ever be satisfied with what they've written, and especially with the ending?

The answer is probably no. Think of Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, Kathryn Mansfield, all who longed to change their stories, or to alter the endings.

I can see myself sending off my manuscript, then desperately wanting it back. "I want to change it! It's not good enough!" Or toss it in a drawer for grandchildren to find when the old lady has eventually croaked.

And how does an extravert with an insatiable social appetite willingly isolate herself to endlessly, restlessly hit the keys? To give up dinners and parties and plays and movies - for the sake of what? Ambition and dreams of success? Some discipline learned in childhood that you must finish what you start? That someone is watching, even leaning over your shoulder?

For me it is the absolute love of telling stories, of moving others to feel what I feel. Having knowledge I long to share.

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