Friday, November 9, 2007

hitting the wall

anyone who has watched my word count rise has probably been thinking something along the lines of:

well, of course she can pound out a lot of words every day - she's a writer. what ELSE would she do?

the answer to that question is anything but write.

yesterday, i hit a wall. not an enormous wall, because i can see the rest of the story behind it. but a wall, nonetheless, implacable, immoveable, and one i can't leap over in a single bound. it's a transition place in the story, a bridge between the beginning and the middle. i can't skip the scene, because the story has an ebb and a flow and a rhythm, and this scene - whatever it is - has a place in it. in order to get from points a-b-c to d-e-f, i have to make this leap. the problem isn't that i don't know what has to happen in the scene, i just don't know how.

i can see the rest of the story, beckoning over the wall like the emerald city of oz. i just can't see how to get there from here.

anyone who's ever attempted to write a story longer than a few paragraphs will understand what i mean.

so what will i do?

well, one option is to just quit. the wall is there, the wall is high. i have lots of other ideas, anyway. as self-defeating as this option might seem, i believe it is important to recognize it. if you don't, it can just fester until even an uncooperative sentence feels like the rock of sisyphus. and if you allow yourself to consider this option, it means that to continue the story, you must make a conscious decision to do so. this means that all parts of your mind and heart and soul have to sign on for the rest of the ride, which is important when you have to get over a wall. the last thing you want when attempting to overcome any kind of obstacle - writing or otherwise for that matter - is for some part of you to remain stuck fretting that the wall is just too high, cause if that's the case, you won't ever get over it.

so... having consciously decided not to quit...what will i really do?

im going to take half an hour this morning. im going to explore the character in the scene, and try to get a better handle on who she is, what she wants, what the stakes are for her. i may sit down at the keyboard, open a fresh document and let her spill her guts for fifteen minutes or so. then i'll go back to the scene, and see if i can see my way over or under or around the wall. i'll give myself a few minutes, and if that doesn't work, i'll try digging some more.

and if that doesn't work.. i'll make a list that looks something like this:

Chapter 14

AE discovers proof that one of her bodyguards is actually working for the other guy.

AE realizes she has to kill him.

AE realizes she's pregant with his child. (no, not really)

then i'll insert a page break,and move on to chapter fifteen.

and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.
nanowrimo word count: 17,029/50,000

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