Today I’m working on the 300th page of Digger.
And y’know, I feel kinda proud about that. Proud, and a bit baffled. I keep looking around and going “Wait…what? How did that happen?”
And I can sorta see the end from here. Oh, not for awhile yet. I’d be rather surprised if we didn’t hit 500 pages by the end, frankly, and since I’m verbose as hell, there might be even more. But there are certain…mmm…mental landmarks in the narrative, for lack of a better term. As rambling and unplanned as Digger is, the best explanation would be that I’m wandering along, but off in the distance, I see this point in the story, and I know to amble in that direction. The oracular slug was one such landmark, and Murai having a nervous breakdown in the village, and the rats flying, and the encounter at the bridge, and the cold servants emerging from the hole in the floor.
Some of the best bits aren’t planned, though–I didn’t know the Shadowchild existed until it came out of the bushes, and Ed’s mythic interlude and discourse on the nature of evil surprised me as much as anybody. (Ed is definitely the character most likely to surprise me. Which is funny, because Ed’s the one character I know the most about.)
But anyway. I know that I have to get to those landmark points, so like mountains on the horizon, I head in that direction. And once I hit one, I line up the next one, and start heading that way. I can generally see quite a few off in the distance, although sometimes new ones’ll pop up. I knew about the cold servants coming out of the hole after the first thirty pages, although I didn’t know what they WERE for another hundred and some change.
And now I can see the landmarks at the end of the line. They’re a long way off–maybe even as far as the cold servants were when I first submitted my proposal to Graphic Smash so many moons ago–but I can at least SEE them. And I feel kinda good about that, too.