So I know I’ve only been writing this story for a week or so, and I didn’t really consider myself “stuck” at any point. I had a good beginning and middle – no end yet, but that’s not a big deal since I rarely have ends in mind when I start writing. I had conceded that the story I was working on was just plain weird, and I was okay with that.
Then I got a text from Aaron saying he was gutting his story and starting again. It made me think about my story a bit. There was one thing about it that bothered me – how completely unrealistic it was. I told myself I was okay with that, but was I really just making an excuse for what would be an unbelievable, below-average story? So I started to dissect it, asking myself where I wanted it to go. What I wanted the major action to be. I certainly didn’t think I needed to gut it, but the way it was headed, it would have been a bizarre story with no justification, and the reader would just have to accept that.
So I start asking myself some “what ifs” – what if this character does this? Well, why would she do that, it makes no sense. Then suddenly BAM! That thing that made no sense suddenly has the entire story making tons of sense. A moment of catharsis and I have a story, beginning, middle, and end.
I sit down tonight and blast out another 3500 words, finishing this “draft”. I fear it might be too predictable now, but I’ll do what I always do when I’m happy with something I’ve written: ignore it for a while. Then I’ll come back and read it fresh maybe next week, and see how it flows. That gives me plenty of time for tweaks and possibly a mini-overhaul, but for all intents and purposes, this will be at least the skeleton of my January story.
It feels so good to write again.