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Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm in Hell

Now that I have your attention, I want to clarify that I am not in hell.  My main character is.  Relatively speaking, of course.

You see, my MS has been stalled lately.  There are many reasons for that:  

  1. Not enough time to devote to crawling into Murphy's head, 
  2. Too many distractions (aged 15, 9, and 7), 
  3. General indecision
  4. CP (Chronological Psychosis). This is where you feel compelled to link all *good* scenes together with the mundane minutiae that make up your character's day.  All the stuff that happens between Scene 1 and Scene 2 (1.1, 1.2, 1.21, 1.22, 1.3 etc).  I do this even though I KNOW it'll go on the chopping block later.  I'm getting better about this, but it's still a problem.

I liked the beginning well enough...Murphy before his fall from grace.  Once he got down to Earth, though, it kinda fell apart and I didn't know what to do about it.  Murphy is full of attitude, he's a god afterall. He's not going to come down to Earth and be humbled immediately.  No, he's gonna be a jerk for a while. 

I kinda knew what would happen once he started classes (heh heh heh, he's going to hate me for it)...but I needed a scene before his first day.  

And I was stumped.

Then one day while I was home for lunch, Murphy spoke to me!  He said, "I'm in Hell." 

Well, those three little words opened the floodgates, they did. 

While I was tapping out the scene, I added a little something completely out of the blue which at the time didn't mean anything but now that I've had some time to think about it will be a great subplot.  I'd like to take credit for this brilliance, but I wasn't thinking that far ahead when I wrote it. It was either divine intervention or a happy little accident. 

So enough about me...have you ever written something in the spur of the moment that turned out to be inspired/convenient/pivotal later?  Tell me all about it...

 Shannon has a new critique up!  Hope you can help.

Craig Niedermaier & Peter McKay
We'd love to hear from you! 
I have a prize package to give away
But I can't do it until one of you says hey



Jolene Perry said...

It is why I NEVER write chronologically. Almost all of my most interesting bits and subplots come while I'm frantically typing away on something. If I write chronologically, that doesn't happen as often.
I'm totally curious about this book BTW - so when you get to the point where you need readers...

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Oh yes! I think my greatest plot twists have come out of one small little line. I worked on one manuscript over a year before a major plot line was born out of an idea I got from a song I heard. I guess you just never know where it'll come from. By the way, your story sounds fantastic!

Susan Fields said...

One of my mc's is named Murphy as well. He's lost his memory and was named after the store he was found in, Murphy's Corner Store. Anyway, I think the best stuff comes from those unexpected divine interventions!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yes, when I was struggling to create the most believable course of events for the big action climax of my book, the one that worked just hit me out of the blue. Had to write it down right away.

aspiring_x said...

yup. i have three different secondary characters that were born in such moments... and one of my favorite settings... and a whole lotta my favorite bits... but i think this is another reason i'm perpetually rewriting- to work these things in...

Mary Vaughn said...

My style of writing is "box." I make two boxes per page. one for 'just keep going.' The other for the 'inspiration that won't wait.'
I love cut and paste!

Laurel Garver said...

I love it when my subconscious pipes up with a wonderful subplot or solution my conscious mind wasn't producing no matter how hard I'd tried.

I know what you mean about the minutia scenes that will have to be cut. Sometimes we do need to just go ahead and draft them because they help us know the character better.

Angela Felsted said...

Totally, this is why I write slow. That way I have lots of great insights as I go. If I get everything down too fast, I tend to miss those insights because I'm not letting my thoughts stew enough.

LTM said...

That is TOO COOL! And from what I've read of your MS, it sounds like a fantastic path to follow! I've had moments like these on just about all of my books--usually while jogging so I have to keep repeating it over and over in my head til I get home all sweaty and gross and start typing. EW! :D <3

Tamara Narayan said...

I thought I'd be spending Wed, Thurs. and Fri. blissfully writing page after page of first draft stuff for book #2. Then my Big Bear got strep throat. Poor thing isn't happy either--she wants to get back to first grade ASAP. So I'll be playing Barbie and Zooreka instead of writing.

I love happy accidents in writing. I often suspect my subconscious is more creative than I.

ed pilolla said...

some writers begin at the climax of their story, becuz when we first settle down to write we are full of energy and enthusiasm. and the climax is generally more action and less internal movement. then they write the resolution. then, after those two parts are drafted, they go to the beginning. they say it's easier to write the beginning after the end has been mapped out.
it's fun to hear about the discoveries you made while drafting. gives me inspiration.

The Golden Eagle said...

I'd had moments like that! Sometimes I'll just write a thought down . . . and later (often in the middle of the night) I'll think of something that fits the story perfectly! Moments like that are the best.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Oh I LOVE when that happens. I need to sit down and outline my next book. I love the feel of a first draft...:)

notesfromnadir said...

I thought you were going to add #5--the Christmas season!

It's great that those 3 words clicked at the right time.