Monday, November 24, 2014

The Point of No Return (and cover blurb for The Catalyst)

In a journey, this occurs when you have gone too far to make going back seem logical. Maybe it's past the halfway point, maybe 3/4. Either way, what is behind you is gone and there is only what is ahead. I won't get all philosophical (even though I did minor in philosophy), instead I'll talk about the point of no return in writing.

I watch a lot of movies (too many...) and often a phrase or scene will pop into my head in daily life. In certain circumstances. As I hit the 75% mark on my newest book, I had one of those moments.

There is a scene in AVP (Alien vs Predator) at the very beginning when the team is flying in a helicopter. They are on the way to their base camp in Antarctica and a man turns to a woman and says they've passed the point of no return. They no longer have enough fuel to return to the ship. It's reach the base or...bust.

I feel like every book has that point. You've spent so much energy getting to where you are, it would be illogical (or impossible) to quit. Every once in a while, that is the point that you think about tossing the whole manuscript out the window. For one reason or another the flow of the story pauses, you're not getting the signal anymore.

According to Stephen King's memoir, he had a moment like that with The Stand. Now, most of us will never write a book as long as that one. Honestly, the thought makes me feel a little light-headed. But the fact remains that even people who have been writing for decades have issues sometimes. They get stuck at the point of no return.

At times like that (like many writers far greater than myself), I just let it go. Be patient. Go sit down somewhere and distract myself with movies or music or...cookies.

Because in writing (and life, but I won't go there...) there is always a point of no return. Sometimes it passes smoothly and other times you get turbulence. The main thing is to keep going.

I hit the point of no return in my new book, The Catalyst, a while ago. I paused for a few days, hit some turbulence, and then got on with it. I like this book. I like the way the story is moving along. In a way, it reminds me of No Light.

I just realized, I haven't given a cover blurb yet. Okay...

Dr. Robin Kay is the youngest professor at her university and she did not get there by lacking in ambition. When an archaeological dig in Siberia unearths something new, she is called on to study the pieces of DNA. But the deeper she goes into the genetic material, the more she realizes she is dealing with something completely new. A species not from Earth.

Driven by ambition and curiosity, Robin defies her superiors and the ethics board to give the species new life. Now, the clock is ticking. At any moment, the authorities could discover what she has done. Who she has created. But the greatest danger may not come from outside the lab, but within it. Because Dr. Robin Kay did not create an it. She created a he.

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