But it is a handy way to procrastinate when you’re having one of those terrible Everything I Write Is Awful And How Does Characterisation Even Work And I Have This Weird Feeling This Whole Scene Is Coming, Like, A Chapter Too Soon.
750 words have been added to The Draft. I’m aiming for 1000 before I go to bed, or better yet, a speed of productivity that will see a chapter completed.
I’ve taken a break to blog because this is an achievement! Not only have words been written, but they’ve come after I put in 7.62 hours at the day job and read a few chapters of A Storm of Swords. (Okay, re-read a few chapters. It’s amazing how much more fun A Song of Ice and Fire is when you realise Stannis is essentially hilarious.)
I’ve also taken a break to blog because I really do have a nasty suspicion that something is going wrong with the pacing. Something needs to happen before this scene can happen, and I don’t know what it is.
It’s moments like these that I wonder if this ever happens to people who outline. I know where the story is going, and I have a rough idea of which major events need to take place in what order, but a subplot has reared its head.
(I really regret to say that this is the mental image I have of said subplot. Sorry.)
Usually I don’t start formally outlining until I’ve written about a third of the story. I mean, yes, I have an idea when I start, but I don’t get to know the characters until I’ve written them for a while, and that’s when I begin to understand how the plot will come together. Maaaaaaaaaaaaybe I should give this whole “early outline” thing a go.
Then, of course, there’s the problem of depicting a schoolyard bullying incident that doesn’t read like a very bad after school special. I’ve spent a lot of time lately remembering what it was like to be 12 (horrible!) and how my classmates interacted with each other. But, of course, I’ve spent a lot of time firmly repressing those memories, so it’s difficult to tell the difference between an accurate memory and a reconstruction.
Not that accuracy matters! I’m writing fiction, after all. But verisimilitude is important, and one thing I remember very clearly from adolescence is that kids are the most vicious critics of all.
I wonder if an unexpected zombie attack might fill in the space between the previous chapter and this one? One of those short, over-in-2500-words-and-no-one-ever-speaks-of-it-again zombie attacks. Like a 24 hour stomach flu, only with more decapitations.
ETA: 1040 words, and I found a solution to the pacing problem. EPIC WIN.