Saturday, June 19, 2010

Moving Forward

My characters just finished a big battle with the bad guy and they won this round. I've been itching to keep going but... I haven't perfected my plan.

Since this is a second draft, that I've changed the trajectory on, I don't want to waste effort doing something in this chapter that doesn't move the plot forward. I have taken the outline I revised and sketched out the chapter as I suggested, but I noted that there's no action in the chapter. Nothing happens. It sets up several items for later resolution, but nothing happens in the actual chapter.

Now, can't have that.

The current chapter is a switch of POV from the male hero (√Čtienne) to his wife (Basilie). They have all contributed to the successful defeat of the bad guy (Galen).

Basilie has sustained some superficial wounds. The point of the chapter is to establish changes in behavior for √Čtienne, and to clarify Basilie's mindset regarding her soon-to-be born child, and finally, to establish some family history for Basilie.

This entry isn't necessarily about how I decide to resolve this, but to point out a realization I had of how many of my writing processes are physical. Under doctor's orders, I can't go ride my bike. I can't go shopping. And most painful to my process, I can't listen to my iPod and dance around like a lunatic.

Which leaves naps. Sometimes, when I try to go to sleep, the emptiness of my own head allows new ideas to pop in. Especially if I have been trying to think like that person for a while.

So what would Basilie do after a big fight? Should I pick her up in the ER? I'm going to have to write it out and try different things... But it's also like the way I cook:

Sometimes I look at the ingredients I have and contemplate all the ways to combine them until I hit a successful mix. But sometimes, I can be sitting, eating something completely different and get struck by lightning.

Last night I was thinking about chili, thawing in the fridge. I remembered we had pie crust and chicken and broccoli and various soups... and I had a eureka moment: POT PIE.

And sometimes, writing works the same way.


  1. you can't shop under doctors orders or because you have no $ ?

    Who's taking the wee one riding? D?

  2. I love those eureka moments. I only wish they happened more often. Good luck with your second draft.