Back in 2011, while we were expecting our second child, an idea took hold that I was really excited about. The first 20,000 words came out without any difficulty, then trickled, then stopped.
I became so stuck on the accuracy of one issue, that it shut me down for a few years. I researched the hell out of coin-flip probability. In my mind, a reader would scoff at my character’s poor study design and deem the whole thing unbelievable. The fact that it is a novel about fictional science was irrelevant. What kind of neuroscientist would run such a small n?
And so the premise lay dormant for a few years, but I couldn’t quite forget it. So instead, I enrolled at UCLA’s Extension School and tried to use the idea as the plot for a movie. Science! Research ethics! Morality! Well, I couldn’t quite get it to work. So back it went.
Until last year, when I showed the opening to a friend who demanded an ending. Like the Neil Gaiman advice:
“How do you do it? You do it. You write. You finish what you write.”
And so, I dug it out. And combined drafts. And outlined and index carded and ruminated on the whole thing.
75k. A draft, but a draft nevertheless of something quite unique that only I can tell.
The Grey Line (or terminator, or twilight zone) divides day and night. It is the point where dark and light meet. It is only visible to outside observation.