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Is there a sound between frustrated and bored?

Saturday, November 05, 2005
And toss in a good measure of self-annoyance while you're at it.

I have tweaked the opening of Dude in preparation for sending it to Nadia. She responded on Friday by asking me to mail her a partial.

This is not the reason for the above feelings.

No, indeed. I experience these sensations because it has finally come home to roost that, as predicted, Daughter of Privilege has no plot. The characters are merrily engaged in a plotless boink-fest and I am bored.

Bored, bored, bored.

Sir Percy Blakeney bored. Valmont bored. The kind of bored that spurs you to acts of unconscionable stupidity.

I'm bored enough to plot.

On Thursday morning as I sat in the coffeeshop, staring moodily into my cappucino (they know just how I like it now -- I even got a pretty design in my foam that day), it occurred to me yet again that my process sucks. Hugely. I start with a scene and a couple of characters and write until I'm stuck. At which point, I usually abandon the book because I have no clue what I'm supposed to be doing.

I know. I've been through this before. But I live in hope that this time ... THIS time ... the lesson will take. When I use Deb Hale's Synopsis Suitcase with the basics of GMC and characterization sketched out, when I scribble out my 3 acts with 3 scenes each, it'll work.

Because that's what I have. A story, not just with a scene or two and a blithe "Oh, I'll figure it out as I go along," but with a discernable beginning, middle and end. A story where the characters aren't cardboard caricatures, but who have real problems to solve, both internally and externally.

Hot damn.

I don't want to jinx it by saying too much more right now, but I'm going back to work on this. When I've gotten past Chapter 3, I'll let you know.
11/05/2005 04:46:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 7 Comments

7 Comments:

Sela, I experienced the *exact* same thing you did a couple of months (eep!) ago with The Lost. my romantica novella. I began thinking: what's the point? And tired of writing all the hyper awareness of body parts--the heating, hardening, lengthening, dripping, moistening, trembling, beating and ultimately boring body parts. heh. I needed story, motivation, characterization, history, goals (that would truly make a difference to the main characters). I need secondary characters with their own motivations and stories that would impact somehow on the main protagonists and the plot. I pretty much scrapped 3 chapters and started all over. Then when I understood a little more about world-building, I scrapped the 2 new chapters I'd written, and spent time doing a bit more investigating the story. I think I'm going to be very happy with this wip when it's done. er, if I ever get started, that is....

Keep up the good work, and fingers crossed for Dude. What title did you decide on anyway?

By Blogger Jaye, at 11:38 AM  

When I get stuck I now plot backwards. Helps me incredibly.

By Blogger Eva Gale, at 1:25 PM  

I find the best thing for me is to just get to a part I WANT to write about. There's always something, and it usually makes the transition and plot movement appear out of nowhere.

Or, I'll set my writing timer for 2 minutes and write. Over and over again, until I get into it.

Good luck.

By Anonymous suzanh, at 5:34 PM  

Hi, Sela!

I just popped over to read Jaq's long-ass post. (snort!)

Have you tried writing out of sequence? It works for some people.

And sometimes when I'm bored & stuck, I'll leap forward & write a scene-to-come that DOES interest me, & that'll help motivate me to get there.

Either way, any way--you can do it!

By Anonymous raine, at 11:19 PM  

Good luck figuring it out! You can do it!

By Anonymous Danica, at 1:58 AM  

Good luck, Sela! I'm learning that my own process has its flaws. I'm a pantser, too, but I'm learning that I have to work on making stronger romantic conflict. Good luck to you on figuring out what works best for you!

By Anonymous Michelle, at 7:10 AM  

Raine's method works for me.

By Blogger Bernita, at 10:43 AM  

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