Not Dead Yet

That’s the good news. Also, my blood pressure is not as high as it was, although I’ll admit to not taking it yet today. It iz what it iz, right?

Bridgebuilders is still crawling along, although I had a bit of a breakthrough this morning. No words added yet, just an idea that will let me get past a sticking point.

You know what the problem is? I”ll call it a “defect of imagination.” I have a feeling writers aren’t supposed to admit to that problem, but that’s what it is. I cannot figure out how to get my characters out of the current predicament and onto the next phase of their adventure. Every time I try, my brain goes, “That’s stupid. You don’t know the science behind it. You can’t describe it accurately.” Or my favorite bit of defeatist self-thought, “The bad guys will see through that plan in no time. The good guys will never get away with it.”

If you think writers have it easy – just sitting on their butts all day, typing merrily along – um… no. We’re a sad, sad bunch, constantly second-guessing ourselves, and fretting over our characters. Then there’s research to do, and when you write science fiction, I really mean research. What exactly happens when a star blows up? How cold is it on Mars at it’s farthest point from the sun? How do you describe a slingshot around Jupiter?

One must be slightly insane to do this for fun. Which is why we all do it, mind you. Because in the end, it’s fun.

7 thoughts on “Not Dead Yet”

  1. Try leaving a big white space and write a scene that is further along. That often helps with figuring out how to make the connections that need to go in the blank space. It certainly narrows down the possibilities of what can fit between.

    1. I do that all the time. In fact, right now I’ve got scenes scattered all over the MS. I’ve reached the point where I have to start putting it all together.

  2. Earlier in our development as writers, everything was a great idea and we didn’t second guess anything. We never worried about how well this plot thread worked out because it was good or good enough. I only say we, because I believe all writers go through this at one point.

    Then came monster revisions, requiring wholesale reconstruction of plots to repair all the inconsistencies and bad choices. I haven’t read any of your material that falls into this or the previous category, so I’m guessing you’re already at the next stage and have been there for some time.

    Finally, we become aware of the quality of story that is needed and we struggle with these details and plot inconsistencies. We hesitate to plow forward like we did early on because we know that it will require months of revisions to fix all the bad choices, so we try to make each choice perfect, stiffing the creative process. Well, I’m not sure if you do that, but I have been. Thus, revisions have been achingly slow.

    There are times when I want to stop writing this novel altogether and write something crazy, not that berzerker mages aren’t crazy. *grin*

    You’ll find a way that works for you. Whether it’s skipping chapters or just writing some bad scenes, knowing they’ll be revised out. Good luck finding that path.


  3. Wow I am glad I am not the only one. I have started leaving the section i am stuck on and moving on to another section. So far I have had the fate of the muses on my side, as I am working I get an idea for the section I left.


    1. I’ve experienced that too. I’ll jump ahead to the scene I can write, and it shows me what to do about the scene I’m stuck on. I wish it worked all the time!

  4. A technique I ofter use is to stop writing for the day before I finish the passage I’m working on (I still know what’s coming next). The next day I start about 500 words back and rewrite. When I get to the previous day’s stopping point, I’ve got fresh fuel in the tank to power on with.

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