That was hard.
By “that” I mean writing the last three chapters of my novel-in-revision Free Souls, posted just before this on this blog.
I really didn’t want to write the tale of that break up. Because, dammit, I like Werner Edelstein. His theology is pernicious and his sexual self-justification is appalling; nevertheless, I genuinely like him. I’m sorry to be finished with him.
While writing the last chapter especially a cajoling voice in me kept saying, “Well, can’t he and Sandy go on a little longer together, maybe, just a a little?” I found myself regretting that I’m working with a book that’s basically finished and these chapters are only there because it needs strengthening in places.
If I’d come up with Werner before I could have made him the hero of the piece and left Eric Bauman out of it. But I didn’t, he isn’t, and I can’t. Eric is necessary for Sandy to get to where she needs to be at the end.
Or– or– how about this? I could have Eric and Sandy get together in some fashion, and he insists on taking her to a concert featuring the celebrated violinist Werner Edelstein, and she goes only to make Eric happy, and while there she not only sees and hears Werner again, but also has the chance to talk to him. And he’s still free and makes it plain he still loves her, and she realizes, oh, gosh, she still has feelings for him, but she loves Eric, too, and oh dear, oh dear, which will she choose?!
Uh, no. It would make a very pretty situation for a romance novel, but this isn’t just a romance novel. There’s a thriller plot I have to tie in and complete, and a romantic complication like that would just be a distraction.
Technically, I can do anything I want with this story. I am the god and maker of it, after all. But unlike the Almighty Author who sees all things from the beginning (including the difficulties His characters will cause by their own sin) and plans them perfectly so they work out to the denouement He has always willed, I am limited in my power. I can’t go against the grain of my plot arc without destroying this particular little world. I am bound by what I have myself chosen to bind, and I have to keep to its line to the end.
Maybe I’ll find a way to use Werner again in his own story. But in this particular novel, his work is done.