Where the hell was I going with this?

I stared at my laptop screen, clicking back and forth between versions of the same Word file trying to figure out how to tackle the chapter I was working on. The stupid thing was already half written, why couldn’t I seem to finish it?

Or, rather, why couldn’t I seem to start it? I already knew how it was going to end: the second half was already solidly written right down to the denouement. I just had to figure out how to get my characters there. Wherever ‘there’ was.

I wasn’t sure where ‘ there’ was and it was causing me problems. It was a question of too many options. The scene is a surprise bachelorette party: so by necessity it begins at a house, goes out to someplace wild, and then comes back to a house. The same house? A different house? How do they get there as where do they go? Originally, I’d intended for the ‘wild place’ to be a gentleman’s club, but I still had echoes on my mind from my writers’ group of the note:

“I think there might, *sigh* I can’t believe I’m saying this: I think there might be too much strip club in this story?”

And that was twelve chapters ago.

But where else would they go? What was the significance of this journey? Did I really even need this chapter? My mind was still trapped in the vortex of worry about wordcount and the fact that the story is already so long- I keep second guessing my choices. (I’m assured by one of my Alpha readers that the meandering nature of the story is, at least, entertaining).

But it does feel like an important chapter: there is a long sequence where reality gets stripped away and the character goes through a bit of a spirit journey through a symbolic landscape that *should* be a warning to change his wicked ways (but of course he won’t). But it isn’t a planned journey: it’s not something the character has gone looking for, so I can’t really do much leadup without tipping my hand…

This has been my mind state for the day. It might be time to take a step back from the computer and just live some experiences for a while. Sometimes I find that if I’m struggling on a chapter it is because I haven’t lived something yet.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on August 23, 2018.

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