Corners and Scenes and WTF Do I Do Now?

Not that I’ve actually written myself one, that is. Just a bit of a speed bump on the writing front.  I’ve been clipping along at a fair enough rate on ShadowWeaver, but it’s quite obvious to me that I’m starting to flounder a bit with the direction, so I need to regroup the end bits of what I have. The current scene involves a road trip – essentially a Mystery Machine of a van rambling its way down the New Jersey Turnpike. And Phin appears to be belting out Rick Springfield’s Jessie’s Girl. (And no, I don’t know why – but there it is.)

I think originally I wanted the trip to take two days of driving, but as I look it back over, I’m not sure it warrants that. Part of the problem is that I never really settled on just where the imaginary town of Portsmyth is located. It’s on the East Cost, for certain, and I’d sort of been aiming for someplace in Massachusetts…but they’re driving to North Carolina…and I don’t think that a single driver could do that in 24 hours. So, either I have to snag a second driver, or I’m going to need to make the two places closer. Or scratch the entire idea all together and come up with something else. In either case, I don’t really want to drag the road trip on any longer than it needs to be. Some important bits do come up via conversation, but I’m not sure it works as a whole.

Which is another thing. What to do with a scene that refuses to NOT be written? Out of the blue, my characters insisted they wanted to go to IHOP. So I took them to IHOP. It’s a fun scene. It’s a well-written scene. But is it a necessary scene? Sure, it involves syrup and feeding bacon to a unicorn wedged into a backpack and a very hungover fiddle player and an incubus playing footsie. But, necessary? Maybe not so much. I’ll probably leave it in there for now. Often I’ve found that there’s a subtle purpose to something that *needs* writing, even if it doesn’t make a lot of sense up front. Undoubtedly it will come to me at some point.

Maybe.

And if I can get Abby and Brystion out of bed, that would also be nice. There seems to be a lot more sex in this book. Not a bad thing, but it needs to be required or I’m going to cut it. It could be that when I get stuck I whip out some smut, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the rest of the book is going to be sorely lacking in any sort of sex at all. I suspect the characters know this and are getting it on while the getting’s good, so to speak.

Guess I’ll leave them to it…

Phineas perked up at this. “Really? That would be nice.” He shook out his backside and winced, cocking up a hind hock to try to glance at his underbelly. “I think I broke something last night.”


I shuddered. “Do I need to find you a vet?”


He shot me an unfriendly look. “I overdid it, is all. Not like I picked up a case of scabies.”


“Well, it was an undine,” I murmured. “Maybe it’s crabs?”

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5 Responses to Corners and Scenes and WTF Do I Do Now?

  1. Dovelily says:

    LOL! I'm sure you'll get it figured out. In the meantime your characters can enjoy IHOP and sex and they'll all be in a really good mood when you send them off wherever you need them to go. Have you ever "interviewed" your characters to see why they're doing what they're doing? Seems weird, but it might work?

  2. Jeffe says:

    I think at this very drafty stage you should let it be what it is. The way you and I write, stuffs pops up as we go. I say trust it. Leave the editing until later and you see what happens.

  3. Kendris says:

    Whether it makes it into the final draft or not, it helps develop the characters and the interplay between them. It may evolve into something necessary, lead to something necessary, or end up something that only you and they know about, but if they want it to happen, indulge them (and yourself). That's how plot bunnies are born.

  4. mynfel says:

    It's an interesting thought. I've seen other authors do it on blogs and such. I'm not sure I'd be able to do it right. On the other hand, I might break out my tarot cards. I did a tarot workshop for the Hero's Journey presented by http://www.tarotbyarwen.com and it was extremely helpful for coming up with motivations and the like. Think I'll see what I can come up with in that direction.   🙂

  5. Adri says:

    One of the most painful things for me to accept as a writer is that the scenes I love most are, 90% of the time, the ones least necessary to the plot.  It kills me to cut them out later, and I lament that no one will ever see that shared moment or that funny pratfall or that damned creepy whatever-the-hell-it-is…but at least they're there for me to enjoy, while the story does improve without them in the end.  I have a file full of deleted scenes that I sometimes go back to when I need a reminder of my characters' voices, as while the scenes might not have done anything for the plot, for me they were an essential part of discovering who those characters are.

    I guess the condensed, non-rambly version of that is, "I know how that is, and I sympathize."

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