One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Remember a few days ago? When I said I was afraid that I was going to have to cut an eighth of Fugitives from Earth that I’ve already written? Because things were neither interesting nor believable? Well, one guess what I ended up doing, and no cheating.

Yeah, I cut it. Turns out that when I said writer’s block (for me, anyway) is just my inner editor telling me that I really, really shouldn’t be writing what I’m trying to write, I was totally correct. I just got utterly stalled on one scene, and each word that I tried adding to it was causing pure, 200-proof agony. Maybe some part of my brain was sending me a message, eh?

So there was no way that I was going to follow that plotline through. It was ill-conceived to begin with, frankly, and I didn’t make nearly enough changes to it when I started this revision phase. Unfortunately, even though I knew the scenes had to go, I didn’t yet have anything to replace them with. I knew where I wanted the characters to end up, and I’m reasonably satisfied with where they’re starting, but the middle chunk wasn’t obvious.

My solution for these kinds of problems is always the same: a change of scenery. I took the dog for a walk and took a shower, just thinking of what might be interesting, which other characters might help things out, etc. As I was out walking, sure enough – poof, this idea just pops into my head, and it’s so obvious that it should have been the way that I went in the first place. Just like I did with the other plotline in Part III, I cut several new characters and brought in several old ones who, ideally, were already sympathetic to the reader. Really, from there the rest of the arc just writes itself, and as a bonus I’ll probably be able to throw in some more interesting setting and backstory flavor. Is good, yes?

I’ve learned so much writing this novel, and a lot of that education has been at the hands of my favorite instructor: pain.

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