Today I read through what I have of The Worms Of Heaven so far (53,284 words) and I was actually pretty impressed with myself.
Granted, I still haven’t the slightest clue how I’m going to end this book (aside from being pretty sure that it won’t be “and they lived happily ever after”) but I’m okay with that. I know most of what’s going to happen next, I’m just unclear on the order–which thing to make the ending thing.
I realize that I’ve already written what I feel is the “heart quote”–the one line that sums up the theme of the novel. In Catskinner’s Book my heart quote was “The dragon doesn’t rescue the princess.” and in Cannibal Hearts it was “Things that give ordinary people nightmares are scared of me.”
In The Worms Of Heaven my heart quote is “If I turn into someone who doesn’t love you, promise that you’ll remember who I am now.”
The theme of this book is transformation, and the effect that transformation has on relationships. That’s something that I have touched on in my other books, but it is front and center in this one. How people change, and what happens to the people around them when they do. It’s a powerful theme in my own life, and using the science fiction tropes as metaphors lets me dig into it in ways that I wouldn’t be able to comfortably–and possibly not at all–in a more realistic novel.
There are some parts of my work in process that moved me to tears today. I realized that a lot of what I am saying is very personal and very painful, it’s just masked by the smoke and mirrors of the way I am saying it. I think this is going to be a powerful book, more powerful than my first two.
It’s still not as good as I wish it could be. I don’t think I will ever be as good as I want to be, and that’s a good thing. I can’t imagine ever being truly satisfied, I will always be pushing myself, pushing my art, pushing my audience. I feel confident that I can continue improving for the rest of my life.
What I’ve got now, though, it’s pretty damned good. I’m feeling good about where it’s going, and I feel good about finishing it, probably sooner than I expected.