Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Don't Let Mom Drive the Car!

I have crashed cars.  (Yes, multiple... but let's stick to the topic here).  And when you crash them, they don't really.... um... go.  anywhere.  anymore.

This is kinda what writer's block feels like.  Like something is broken and the story won't go anymore.  It has happened to every writer, and it has been the bane of my writing existence this month.  After I got some feedback from my lovely CP, I had some good ideas about making a change to the beginning and cutting a few things that could wait to be explained later in the story.  So, with all this in mind, I wrote the next scene.

A short scene.  Like... a few pages.  And then.  The car.  Crashed.

And there I was, in the passenger seat, saying, "Wait a minute!  This was supposed to work better!"

And right off the bat, I knew what was wrong - my MC's mother did something that derailed her character completely.  I know, I have blindly followed the crazy things characters do, yelled at them, frowned upon them, cursed at them for laughing at me behind my back when I named them the wrong thing... and later realized that they were right.  However, this time, I think Mama was just desperate for a little more screen time or something, and she Thelma & Louise'd the story right into the ground just by reacting a certain way in a scene with the MC.  Because it totally threw everything off.

And then I got bummed.  Because my fix didn't fix, it made things worse.  And everything I tried to add after that sucked.  So I complained and ate chocolate and went back on Facebook after my 4 month hiatus (which has now re-begun) and fretted and wondered what to do.  This went on for about a woeful week.

And then, today, as I was driving home from work, it occured to me how to rewrite the scene to make it work.  So I will be doing that shortly, and hopefully it will send my WiP to the repair shop.  And Mama will be getting a very stern talking to (and perhaps a forceable license removal). :)


Laura Marcella said...

Good thing you didn't crash your car while thinking about how you could rework the scene!

Good luck!

Connie said...

Oh, I hear you! I had a character like that show up in a novel I was writing. They need to be taken firmly in hand or they will try to run the show. Very dangerous. I know it sounds crazy, but I'm completely serious.

roxy said...

I like your analogy, Lindsey, and have had this same writing crash. Been there, done that. I do think it gets better in time. That's where the love of writing itself comes in! Good luck and may your muse snap to it and start scattering inspiration dust all over you;)

Dangerous With a Pen said...

Laura - HA! Oh my. TRUE! Yoiks!


Roxy - Good to know you've been here and past this discouraging point too. I think I am at the point of pushing the car up out of the ditch... :) That's a good thing!

Catherine Denton said...

Great analogy!! Unfortunately, I have crashed my share of cars and stories too. I'm glad you got a new start on your manuscript. :D

Dangerous With a Pen said...

Omigosh! Catherine just called my WiP A MANUSCRIPT!!!! Catherine, I think I love you. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Sounds like you've got mama under control now! It should fly along from here - have fun! :)

Old Kitty said...

I just know you'll come out of the repair shop with a gleaming shiny and brand spanking new red corvetter driven by Mama!! Good luck with your writing! Take care

Anne Gallagher said...

My characters did that to me in my last book. Sent me spiraling through some kind of off-road descent down a ravine. Every time I tried to fix it, they screamed at me. But I showed them, I wrote the worst of the characters out of the book. Showed them all right!

Misha said...

Ugh my sympathies.

My characters hijacked the story recently and derailed it.

The train is back on the track, but I frigging can't make it MOVE!


I hope you get your story going again! :-)

Cleverly Inked said...

Crashed cars= writers block. LOL Well thank god I am not a writer

Robert Guthrie said...

For me, the car often has to wait a while before being serviced. Just letting it rest a bit does wonders.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your post. Writers block is something I rarely suffer from, I'm glad to say. However, just the other day I had a situation were my head was just so full of ideas that I couldn't write. My cure was to sit down and write something completely different.

A Writer's Muse - Too Many Ideas to Write

Rebecca T. said...

CAR CRASH! Yes. That is EXACTLY what happened to mine too.

I think you should ground mama until she learns her lesson. Tell her that no one likes a diva :)

I think with mine I mainly forgot the #1 rule of getting critiqued - you don't HAVE to listen to every word of advice because it's YOUR novel.

I was trying to do everything people suggested and it wasn't my story anymore. It's like I was driving a rental.

But I got my car back and I think I'll be able to get back on the road soon :)

My VW is ecized. Mama's penchant for unrelated drama needs to be ecized :P

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