I have to write the dénouement of the story I’ve been bounding through since mid-June, and I am struggling rather. It’s what would be twenty out of the last twenty-five minutes of a film (if this were a film), when the conflicting characters have their final struggle; the climactic fights-and-explosions (if you are James Bond), or blow-up-New-York-City (if you are The Avengers) scene. In my case it’s blow up bits of a research institute, after evacuating most of the people inside and fighting the ones who won’t evacuate (on account of them being the villain and his cohorts – look, I never claimed this was subtle stuff). But I’m stymied, not least because I’ve never blown anything up in my life. Not even in fiction.
How do things blow up? I‘ve had to research some odd stuff in my time (armaments of a nineteenth century sloop, location of telephone booths in the Royal Festival Hall in 1988...) but looking for youtube films of explosions is a bit outside the scope of my normal interests.
And there aren’t enough hours in the day. Oh, how there aren’t. I have a full time job. I like to cook and eat a proper meal when I get home of an evening. I have friends and family I like to keep in touch with; I even try to see them sometimes. I like to watch the news occasionally, and have the odd evening at the theatre or the cinema or something. I have a life, for goodness sake. But I also have a story; and this particular one has come like the proverbial express train. I have clung on to a swinging door and hoped I didn’t fall off when it went round corners, and I have written about four fifths of it in three months. Even if I really struggle with the climactic blow-up-the-Droit-Institute scene, I could well be finished by the end of October. It’s been weird, and rather exhausting at times, but also it has been wonderful.
Back to work now. On the notice board above my desk I have stuck a picture of Rimmer from “Red Dwarf” and a picture of Hawkeye from The Avengers, and given them little speech bubbles. I look up at them, and feel encouraged. They are both cute, in their wildly different ways, and both good guys. I imagine them working together to keep me on my feet, and I believe it’ll all come right in the end. Please god.