Thursday, October 20, 2011

Slogging

While Susan has crossed into hallowed Multiple Draft Land, I am on the opposite end of the spectrum entirely. She can worry about the fine tuning of her piece. I still have to get words onto paper or computer screen. I have been to Multiple Draft Land a few times, but those drafts belong in the I’m-Not-Writing-You-Right-Now Drawer.

So, instead of tinkering my way into oblivion on any of my three drafts, I am several chapters into a project so new it doesn't even have a title yet. This produces a whole different set of joys and struggles from the ones that appear after the first draft is finished. The struggle I am currently enduring I will call:  The Endless Dinner. 

I have become bogged down at a particularly unexciting dinner scene.

I have never experienced quite this much ooey gooey bog before.

I feel a little as though my novel has somehow entered a strange sort of time vortex, in which it is impossible to escape from this hideous meal. My two characters are just sitting, talking to each other over dinner. They have a little bit of important information to convey to one another and then they can both move on to bigger and better things. And yet I feel as though they have been sitting there saying slightly caustic things to each other for weeks! Weeks of my time, at least. 

This could just be because I haven't written much this week.

Hmmm.

I’ve just been opening the document, typing a sentence or two, seeing them still eating, saying “Ugh!” and closing it again.

Today is going to be different. Today I will defeat the bog! Sticky and unfun though it is, I will slog through. My characters are going to get up from the table, put their forks and knives down and leave the room.

And it's going to be awesome.

4 comments:

  1. At first my response was that you should have gone delete-happy and nixed the scened entirely, or at least just moved on...

    BUT now that I think about it, "slogging" like this might be necessary for some (all?) writers as a way to get to know the characters and figure out what's important in the story.

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  2. I agree. It was a very necessary and enlightening dinner conversation.

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  3. "My characters are going to get up from the table, put their forks and knives down and leave the room." This made me laugh. Do it! End the eternal meal! Let them eat cake! But somewhere else! :D

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  4. I've succeeded! They've made it all the way up the stairs now, leaving the dining room in the distant past. :)

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