So there I was, writing away at the bottom of the Well, slamming words left and right…and I suddenly realized I’d paddled into stormy waters.
The water became thick, more like Jell-O, and every stroke about pulled my arms out of their sockets. “Hmmm,” says I. “Must have made a wrong turn at Albuquerque.”
I knew this scene. Even in the old terrible first draft from years ago, I’d had this scene. The key players had changed, of course, but in general, I knew where it was going. So why was I stuck? I started going through the mental check list. Was it a sex scene? (Sometimes those bog me down. All those hands to get right, don’t you know.) Nope. Was it a fight scene? (Ditto on the choreography.) Nope, but it was a violent scene. Torture. I need the good guys to torture some of the bad guys…just enough…to get key information out of them. They need to know who the traitors are.
But I knew all this going into the scene. So the problem was deeper.
After struggling to get even 200 words last night, I finally realized what I’d done around 10:00 p.m. I’d turned my heroine into a weakling. Shannari couldn’t watch the torture. Why? Because that was easier than letting her do what she needed to do.
She needed to do some of it herself.
I didn’t want her to participate, but oh, boy, she certainly did. As soon as I backed up and deleted the weak whiny stuff, she took over in a hurry, sliced and diced a while, and now this scene is going somewhere. Whew.
Back to drowning in the Well, I hope.
No Friday Snippet today, but if you want to read something, go back to yesterday’s character interview. I’m struggling to get scenes in Road that don’t spoil something…either the key developments at the end of Rose, or how those things worsen in Road. So I’ll have to think about what I can share through snippets. If I have time this weekend, I’ll peruse my old files and see if I can spruce up something enough to give away.