In my first Blogathon post here, one month ago, I talked about how Pandora’s Genes came to me in a dream, and how writing the first part quickly, in a few weeks, was “like a three-week orgasm.”
Now I want to tell you about writing the ending, which was both very similar and very different from writing the beginning.
In yesterday’s post I described my frustration when I kept having to rewrite the entire novel. I ultimately rewrote most of it six times. The reason I kept at it was because I LOVED Pandora’s Genes and believed in it. Although it may appear to be just another post-holocaust adventure tale, I felt that I said some important things in it. And the characters were more real to me than my family and friends.
My final revisions took a few months, and just when I thought I was nearly finished, my editor said to me: “Now, you know you’ll have to change the ending.”
I didn’t know any such thing. I loved the ending, which originally was that Zach, Will, and Evvy would be married, since the most common form of marriage in the Pandora’s world was two or more husbands and a wife.
“Our readers,” my editor told me, “Are not ready for a three-way marriage.”
I was stunned. Stunned and dismayed. It had never occurred to me that I would have to change one of the most important parts of the book. And how could I change it? I was so distraught that for several days I felt as if my mind had gone blank, that my formerly reliable imagination had deserted me.
But I should have trusted my subconscious to come to the rescue.
One night a week or two after the upsetting conversation with my editor, I had another dream. In this dream I was at the end of a long pregnancy and in labor. Many people were gathered around helping me as I pushed the baby out of my body.As the baby was born, I felt pressure, but not pain; warmth, spreading throughout my body, and intense pleasure, very like an orgasm.
When the baby was fully born, I woke up with the new ending for the book in my mind.
I wrote it down before I could forget it, and submitted it. The editor loved it.