I'm a few days, maybe a week, away from The End of my online serialised novel, ED Day : Dead Sydney.
While I've always had a vague idea of how I believed the story would end, not writing to an outline means I've often been surprised at how the tale has turned out, chapter by chapter.
For example, (spoiler alert), the sniper murders of three key characters, a few chapters ago, wasn't something I planned, or even wrote in my mind. I didn't want that to happen to these people. I sat there, reading the words that appeared on the screen as they were slaughtered, as though I was reading the work of somebody else. A very strange experience indeed.
Most of the latest chapter now online, likewise, fell out of the brain dump in one fast 3am writing session after I tossed the chapter I had already written, and rewritten, and relentlessly polished until it was flat, sterile, fucking boring.
Where this new chapter leads the last part of the novel (maybe two more chapters) is not something I planned, or even now want to happen to these characters who have become so real to me in the past year. But I know if I delete this chapter and rewrite it to fit with how I originally thought this story would end, my brain will violently punish me by exploding a few blood vessels. And if I did slump dead onto the keyboard before I reach The End, there's about one or two hundred regular readers who I'm sure would dig me up to try and find out how it all ends.
This has been such a bizarre writing experience. I used to need drugs to trip myself out this much.
An excerpt from the latest chapter of ED Day : Dead Sydney :
There’s nobody to put out fires that big, and we don’t have the water to spare even if we had a volunteer firemen’s unit to activate.
Bookman had warned of all this. The destruction of our written history and culture, who we are, the story of how we got here, how we became a nation.
Bookman told me last week that 12 bookshops he knew of had been torched or burned, including antique shops loaded with rare books and letters. He made me promise him that if anything ever happened to him that I'd guard the Mitchell and State libraries with my life. I failed him. It's all gone.
I see it all now, what is happening here. We have a dangerous and destructive enemy, and this enemy is at war against us, the survivors of ED Day. They want to strip us of our history, and break us down, make us feel lost and helpless and cut off from our culture, who we are, where we came from.
You can read the rest of the latest chapter here. And feel free to leave a comment, as critical as you like (but make it a bit more insightful than "This Sux", okay?)
If you're not already reading ED Day, you can start from Chapter One here.