78. Completion Difficulties

The ultimate deadline for the Scholastic Asian Book Awards is next Monday. By 5P.M. on Monday, the 21st of October 2013, if my entry hasn’t made it to the receptionist’s desk in Scholastic’s office in Singapore, I will officially be out of the running for the award.

The very thought of it makes me lightheaded with unease.

Johann is getting along just fine, I guess. It’s a real blessing that I started this writing process by outlining the structure of the story, so I always had something else to work on when I got stuck in one part for too long. But with less than 7 days to the deadline, I have run out of time to even be stuck writing this thing. I’ve got to finish it.

I don’t know what is it like for the other writers out there, but I find difficulty in finishing things. The hardest thing to write in any story is always the middle, or Act Two, this much is universal – but I don’t know if anyone takes as long as I do to wrap a story up in the final parts. The first 10 percent of the story comes as naturally as breathing (or eating) to me – I just breeze through it. When it comes to the last 10 percent, however, I suddenly lose the motivation to finish writing the damn thing.

(I’ve heard from someone before that many people give up on their downloads at 95 percent completion or above. I have a strong feeling that this is due to the impossible hurdle that lies somewhere between 99 percent and 100 percent completion)

Johann’s story is an interesting creature in the way that though I have written much of its middle (20,000 words of it!), I still cannot, for the life of me, figure out what to do for the beginning and the ending. It’s like having this beautiful bridge designed and planned out, and when asked what two lands is still bridge connecting, I just give a blank stare and go “uhh…”

I mean, I do have an idea of what happens at the beginning and at the end – I just cannot write it, for whatever reason. This probably sounds hypocritical, since I just made a post on overcoming writer’s block – but I assure you, it’s a unique challenge. While having writer’s block, you lose the drive to write. With this story, I’m just staring at the screen in bewilderment, wanting to write, knowing exactly what I want to write, but there’s a disconnect between my brain and my fingers hovering over the keyboard.

For the past month or so, I have found myself obsessively working through the middle portion of Johann’s story again and again, and if I were to do an artist’s impression of the structure and relative size of the parts of the story, it would appear like the spinning top from Inception: tiny on top, tiny at the bottom, and HUGE around the middle.

(I also hope that it’ll turn out to be just as entertaining to look at)

7 more days until the deadline. I have got to figure out the beginning, and perhaps more importantly, the ending. I have got to somehow finish Johann’s story and have it presentable on Monday.

I have got to complete this.


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