The story I'm working on began with two characters in the environment established in NEW BLOOD. There was no clear end in sight and I had little idea what would happen in the story. I just started writing and followed my characters, letting them react naturally to events. This was possible because I knew their environment and its rules.
Other characters came into being as the story progressed and each of them added to the mix until I realized my original goal was only a staging post along the way and we traveled further, this time with even less idea where it was leading. The story problems mounted and the solutions seemed distant- until last night.
I'd had an injection during the day and suffered a reaction that drove me from my bed in the early hours of the morning to sit in front of the computer for an hour or so working. Deciding I was too tired to continue, I went back to bed and found the reaction just as uncomfortable so I let my mind roam where it might to provide a distraction from my discomfort.
Suddenly all the disparate threads of the story gelled into a coherent whole and I had my ending drawn from threads I'd already established without planning. It felt great and I was thinking so hard I drifted into sleep without realizing it, the discomfort of the reaction forgotten.
I woke this morning and started writing, only to lose a thousand words when a power surge dropped the computer offline and the auto-save hadn't worked. It didn't stop me. I just went back and retyped a revised version before manually saving it and continuing.
It's a great feeling.