Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Smoking Gun

I've been having a little difficulty with my current work in progress. I won't call it writer's block, because I don't believe in that, but let's say that the novel in question was not exactly cooperating. My motivation had gone past "flagging" straight to "rest in peace," and in short, productivity had ground to an all out stop.

Shit.

My plot was thin, and I knew it. The problem was, I didn't want to add a big, super villain and crime for solving this time. This is book three in a series, and I've already done something like that in books one and two.
My super genius plan was to NOT do that, and I stand by that choice, but what I forgot to do was fill the gap with something else.

Thankfully, my subconscious instincts know what makes a good story. (I mean, one of us should, right?) And, all this time that I've been wasting, banging my head on the desk and rambling about pointless, irrelevant garbage, was in fact, a message from my own brain.

Last week, as I stared at the single sentence I'd produced for the day, it occured to me that I've been going on and on about this one thing that had NOTHING to do with my plot arc. Okay, I'd noticed before, but what I got (finally) was that is SHOULD have to do with my plot. You see, it was the key situation that could flesh out and add a new sub-story to my very thin excuse for a novel.

I read once that an author (possibly Steven King?) advised: if you bring out a gun on page 1, it better go off by page three...or something terribly paraphrased along that line. Well, what I'd done in this WIP was hint around about a proposed danger (the gun) and hinted and hinted and etc. and I had NO INTENTION of using it.

I know, I know. It just didn't really fit into my original plan for the story line. But, considering that I already knew that story needed something else, something big and conflicted...well the pieces all came nicely together for me at last.

And I only wasted around three months figuring that out.
So maybe I don't get a medal for being the sharpest cookie around. Still, problem solved and back to work, this time, with a lot more potential for success.

I hope. Cross your fingers for me and the bloody book.
I don't have any more months to waste.

~ Frances

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