If you’re a writer, you’ll know the one. It’s the one that refuses to do what it’s told, that gets harder and harder, that you hit your head repeatedly against, wondering what will break first.
It’s the one where you cut and paste and cut and paste and cut and paste and realise that actually, you should dump the whole damn thing and start again – but then your sentences fail you and you stare at the blank screen wondering if what you just binned was so bad after all…
It’s the one that’s like pulling teeth, like pulling the veins out of your arms. You go out for air, you make yourself coffee, you buy Jazzies from the garage and you come back and you start it again…
Until you want to fucking scream.
Every book’s had a Chapter of Doom. For those who’ve read Ecko Rising, it’s early on – the cyberpunk chapter that’s Ecko’s run on Grey’s base. That one started in a sports centre, moved to a disused theatre, then flirted with the abandoned Underground… the breakthrough came when I was standing outside Titan House one day, looking up at the roofs opposite. Ecko Burning had one too, but that one hit the cutting room floor and was rewritten as part of the edit.
And Ecko ‘Endgame’ has one, of course it does. One I started over the holidays, one that’s been through the edits and the re-edits, the frustrations, the head-bashing, the sugar-rush, the going out for air, and the coming back in with my sleeves rolled up….
…and this evening, I’ve finally – finally! – kicked (headbutted?) its stubborn arse. Yay!
There’s absolutely no message in this post – it’s just a story about a story, about the stuff that happens to us all. And to say, that if you hit your head against it hard enough, and for long enough, it will be the Chapter of Doom that breaks first.
The bruises on your forehead are just a part of what writing is.