I’m starting to see some light at the end of the writing tunnel, for this particular project, and more students have been reading it in my class — and telling me they’re enjoying it. Just two or three, here and there, but that makes the effort most definitely worthwhile. It would be so nice to have a proper title, but maybe it will come to me after I finish it up.
The funny thing is that the surprises keep coming. I thought I knew how the falling action and denouement would turn out, but once again, my characters are doing things I didn’t expect. And some of their motives are suspect. Such is the way of writing in first person — one never knows for sure what goes on in the minds of others. Even if the others are creations of my own imagination.
Because once again, I’m finding that even with the struggles I had in starting and continuing this piece, the individuals have become very real to me. They’re composites of real people I’ve seen and talked to, but they’re also very physical in my head, and I’d recognize them in real life if I saw them walking down the street. Adam Poirier, my sixteen-year-old protagonist, with his lanky build and dark hair. Penny, his girlfriend, all quiet sparkle and tidiness. John Murphy, the old man in the woods, who is very much the stereotypical bearded hermit, but with a dark and twisted personality.
Sometimes it feels like the story is carving itself out of a block of stone, chipped into the open a word or a letter at a time. And sometimes it feels like it’s more organic than that — a tree, maybe, with roots that extend out into other shoots and branches that cross over each other. That’s what I see in my head, realizing that the other characters have their own interesting stories that could also be told.
Two more days, as of midnight. Three of my students have now hit their word count goals for Camp NaNoWriMo, and the others are encouraging their peers to try to make it over the finish line. We’re having an awesome waffle party on Friday, to wrap things up, and then next week, it’s back to regular lesson format for them. No more daily writing. I’m convinced that as a class project, all of this has been totally worth it. But it will be nice when we have all caught up on our sleep again.