Endings can be sad or joyous or a little of both emotions. All the preparation, outlining, character creation, and endless notes pay off in the bittersweet euphoria of finishing a manuscript. A sense of relief washes over me in writing two words, “The End.” After a mental journey as strenuous as a long hike, a story comes to an end sometimes in a rush and sometimes in painful fits and starts. The relief is short-lived as it is only the first draft. I usually take some time and let the story lie in wait. I will then pick it up again after a few days, or sometimes weeks, and go over it from the beginning making sure themes make sense and continuity is in line. A short story can coalesce in a matter days while a complete novel can take up to a year. A lot of time is spent in creation. The journey can be scary or fun—dark or light—or any feeling— shades of gray—in-between.
My current project, Future-Thrill, is nearing completion of its first draft. Writing during the pandemic has been different. In the past, I travelled a lot with work and wrote on the road, catching time to in between gigs. Time is more fluid now, for better or worse. The story has been affected by the state of the world in relative terms of its futuristic, dystopian environment of 2070. World War III, plagues, deviant technology, a fractured police state, climate change, and a meteor strike on the moon have passed in its timeline, none driving the narrative of a dying Earth more than my subconscious distillation of current events. I have no conscious interest in writing about the pandemic, but I feel its effects nonetheless. The manuscript was outlined in the end of 2019 before the world changed and I have stuck to its origins of two punks who dream of escaping into the big dark of space from a dying Earth. Futuristic, technological details and dystopian landscapes have changed with radical ideas dredged from my subconscious and perhaps the tone of some scenes has changed too. I am curious for the day to come when I can take a step back, let some time pass, and review Future-Thrill’s complete iteration.
Currently, I am writing the final part—gearing up for the big boss like a video game—of navigating my characters through my first cyberpunk landscape. I have written horror, crime, contemporary, western, and YA fiction all with a gay bent. Future-Thrill is my first foray into science fiction. The thread that needles all of my works is outsider characters living on the edge hence my moniker of Punk Fiction—pulp fiction with a punk attitude. I look forward to writing, “The End,” in the near future, not only on my manuscript but on the trying year of 2020.