Jan 06, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
My calendar has Epiphany written on today's date, so I figured I might as well write about author epiphanies. Sometimes it happens with a character's name or a title (so grateful when these epiphanies happen, by the way -- it can be pretty frustrating before they do, let me tell you). I like it better when it happens in first draft...but sometimes it is not until final draft and I am grateful for Find and Replace!!! Sometimes it is a chapter beginning, which is always a bit of a 'oh thank God the magic is not gone, my muse has not abandoned me, and all is still right with the world' feeling. I usually need these epiphanies between chapters 12-20 which are the toughest chapters for me to write and usually where I drop the novel (and also why I have so many different ones started). This is where epiphanies are most needed because they keep me excited about the novel and help me to keep my motivation strong enough to write one more chapter. Then one more and one more and one more. All from one epiphany. Perhaps one of my favorite epiphanies is when it is time to bring the novel to a close-- the dreaded last two chapters (usually last 2-4, to be perfectly honest) and one thing I have learned is this: endings will come when they are good and ready. You can beg them, you can plead with your characters. I have even tried to bribe my muse with pancakes. I have stared at my notebook with its Chapter 38 written on the top of the otherwise blank page. I have switched pens and switched pens again. Cleaned my purple flannel shirt. Gone to a movie. Gone for a drive with all Jeep windows down. Bribed my muse with ice cream. Ultimately I just have to wait it out. It will come -- as an epiphany, and usually at 2:00 in the morning...but it will come.