I quit my job after nearly 14 years with the company.

It was time. I wasn’t happy there, despite my best efforts. Fortunately, my lovely partner is in a position where we could afford to do so. So I broke one of the cardinal rules of novel-writing: Don’t quit your day job.

Things are much better. Been knocking things off the life list, doing some freelance work when I can find it and, thankfully, I’m writing again after sitting at the 3/4 mark for half a year. I’m told that’s normal; I don’t know how it can be. But I’m not going to dwell on it. Ever forward.

So I’m walking the dog the other day, after the most productive day of writing I’ve had in six months, and I’m pensive.

One of the things that has been bogging me down is knowing that my plot intentions seemed to be overpowering, if not contradicting, the story. Almost like my “big climax” wasn’t really appropriate…feeling contrived, even unnecessary. It seemed too big, perhaps even too tragic, for the characters I’ve made, the story I’m telling, and the theme behind it.

Then, as Kix was peeing on a hosta, I had a sweeping revelation. It occurred to me, the actual story can be complete without the big climax.

KAPOW! Huge explosion. Worlds crumble. Pro-wrestling is real.

So do I run with it? Abandon my original climax and, therefore, the major plot point? I wouldn’t have to scrap much, if anything. It’d probably save me the 90 pages or so to get there (which would’ve put me far beyond the “recommended length” for a first novel—an axiom I despise) and already, a few days after having the thought, it feels like the story is alive again.

That said, I also wonder if I may damage the potential impact by reducing pinnacle event(s) to minor happenings that are essentially commonplace and non-life threatening.

Do I do a disservice to the story and characters, and the book’s theme, by eliminating the very scene that I was building to?

My mind wants to ignore this. Like I should suffer through a story that seems off the mark. But when I think of some of my favorite literary fiction novels, most don’t have a climax of the magnitude I was building to. In fact, in many it’s hard to point to a true climax at all. So my gut is telling me this is the right path.

I turn 42 soon, thereby completing the year in which I’d hoped to discover the answer to life, the universe, and everything…or at least complete a draft of my first novel.

I may make it yet.

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