If you’re not a writer, this blog post may make you think I’m mentally insane. I’m not. Trust me. Just sometimes when you’re writing, your characters have a mind of their own.
Yesterday was Sunday, and ideally that should be a day where I get a huge chunk of writing done. I didn’t. Word count grand total was a pathetic 252 words. I was very frustrated and later mad at myself.
My best writing troubleshooting always occurs while driving (I’d just drive around for no reason when I have writer’s troubles but gas prices being as they are… that’s not a feasible solution). So today while driving home from school, I realized what my issue was yesterday.
I’d encountered a problem that I hadn’t encountered before. According to my plot, I needed two characters to work together to help another character in need. When I put these two alpha females in the same room together for the first time… they soooo did not want to work together. Instead the scene turned into the equivalent of a cat fight, leaving me shocked and frustrated. While I’ve had characters act, speak, and behave in a way I hadn’t anticipated, I’ve never been writing and then had two characters not get along like this. And I couldn’t think of a way to “mediate their situation.”
Today while driving, I realized I could have solved this problem or at least still added to my word count (instead of just giving up and doing grad school reading).
I could have :
A. Brainstormed areas of common ground between the characters to give them a solid reason to work together.
B. Brainstormed a character that could act as mediator.
C. At least chosen a different scene to work on that day to get SOMETHING done.
So while I did get a lot of grad school reading done and while that was a productive use of time, I still regret not getting more writing done yesterday. But at least I’ve learned from my frustration. In the future, brainstorming about character relationships might be just as necessary as creating a character bio. Lesson learned.
Now let’s see if I can knock out 1,000 words tonight to make up for it…
UPDATE… Later that night…
Switched projects. Was insanely inspired. Brainstormed a great deal, and wrote 765 words. Wanted to keep writing… but the clock read 11pm, and I really can’t afford to get sick AGAIN this school year.