I’ve been spending a lot of time sorting through the discussions and insights from the most recent meeting of my writer’s group. I was in the hot-seat that time, with the current version of Book 5 (of which there is now about 25,000 words, since I had already surgically excised a bunch of crap that Did Not Belong).
A lot of good and useful stuff was said, and it all made sense at the time. I certainly agreed with most of it, and it ought to have been very helpful indeed.
I found myself dithering, a lot. It seemed that something was missing.
I tried hitting the new scenes from different angles, and got nowhere; then tried to get myself moving by all sorts of methods, eventually including sheer dogged determination — and I still just kept getting stuck.
Absolutely, something was missing, and it was something that, apparently, I could not do without. And I had no idea what the hell it was. Largely, I suspect, because it wasn’t there, and I therefore could not actually look at it. Right?
In fact, (rather like Rowan in the dragon fields) I was looking for a hole. And since a hole is only visible when the system is in motion, I had to make things move.
So, in sheer frustration I threw together a slap-dash of a scene (which I will not actually use in the book), in which three characters just argued with each other. I just wound ’em up and let ’em go at it.
Eventually, one of them won the argument.
But it wasn’t the one I expected.
And that fact was the missing piece. It made things so much more interesting…
So, now I’m all smugly self-satisfied, and sort of rubbing my hands together, gloating. Heh.
You know, my sister once said to me, after reading something I’d written: “You don’t plot — you scheme.”
In other news:
The temperature got up to, what, 60 some-odd last week? (That’s 15 Celsius.) Until it suddenly snowed.
Now it’s 17 F (-8.3C) outside.
And they’re saying another 8 to 10 inches on Wednesday. Yow.
Fortunately, I live exactly two miles from my office.