Feb. 23rd, 2015

jennygordon: (Froud - Wood Woman)
Hell and damnation! My story decided to become another story. Which is to say, when I sat down to write yesterday, the pieces started shifting around before my very eyes and I discovered that the story arc I envisaged at the planning stage isn't the arc the story wants anymore.

It actually took me a while to knuckle down to writing yesterday, as the ghost of stuckness was whispering at me from the outset. I'm at the Messy Middle of MoulderingBook. It's a stage I often get stuck at — a stage a lot of writers often get stuck at — and indeed, stuck I've got. I employed a few of my unsticking tools and squeezed out another 2K words, but then the sticky-stuckness caught up with me again, so I sat back for a ponder.

And that's when it came to me.

I've been uncomfortable for a while with one of my significant secondary characters.

"You want me to do what?" he keeps asking, eyeing me sceptically at every turn.

Yesterday, I think I realised why.

His actions don't need to alter significantly, but what does need to change is a key aspect of his motivation. And that has a scattershot impact on the rest of the story, which ultimately means I need to rethink the shape of the story from this point forward, and dramatically reconsider the ending.

So yes, hell and damnation!

Except it kind of isn't, because this is all part of the joy of discovery when it comes to writing. Not to mention one of the reasons why I find it so crucial to be nimble in my approach. It's also why it's impossible for me to tightly outline in advance; the nature of my brain is that the story changes and evolves as I write it and get to know the characters in a way that's impossible for me in advance.

It's kind of thrilling for the story and characters to be digging their heels in like this, as it means I've reached the point where they are strong enough to think for themselves. There are times when it's important to rein them in and remind them who's boss, but I suspect this isn't one of them. Stuckness doesn't happen without good reason, so I need to pay attention.

Once upon a long time ago, I would have given up, wailing that it's too hard.

It is hard, but MoulderingBook is fun and worth fighting for, and I'm not such a wimp these days.

What I need now is a good long brainstorming session, a flash or two of inspiration, and a nice big bar of chocolate.


jennygordon: (Default)

January 2016


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