Writing like I do is like putting together a puzzle without the picture on the box to guide you. You still have written instructions of what to do, but there are no visual cues other than the shape of the pieces to guide you. This makes putting the puzzle together challenging and fun. Yes, I said fun. Roll your eyes at me all you want, but it’s true.

It’s like a great chef creating a new combination of flavors. For example who would have thought of pair cherries and chilies together in a tart until they actually did it on the Next Iron Chef: Redemption? Admittedly, there are frustrations, especially when you have to rip apart and re-do the second puzzle because the first one is adding some curvy pieces you didn’t expect. The powerful feeling that comes when you write in the moment as the characters are living what you describe more than makes up for the agony, though.

Using this analogy, I’d say Spirit has about 90% of its edge pieces done and some of its filler. I still have to introduce a couple more characters, including the main protagonist, then add a few more significant events before tying things together. The key is going to be the pacing. There is some real intensity in spots that I don’t want to lose by dragging things out, but I don’t want to rush, so that story seems to take place over hours and days instead of weeks and month.

Legend, in its current form, can’t completely work now. I’ve introduced some unexpected dark shades in my main character and her relationship with others that were never part of the original Spirit that I based Legend off of. This means, once Spirit is done, I’m going to have to go back and paint that character a little darker. This actually helps, more than hinders, because the fact that I have to re-write stuff allows me to take material from Legend and bolster Spirit with it.

I’m hoping to have at lest one of the two puzzles complete sometime next year, so I can share it with all of you.