day 13: outline uncertainty
didn’t get to writing until late this afternoon*, but i finally got 3 pages down. this section’s flow slowed down a bit, and i had a little trouble getting back into it, but eventually i got a couple pages out, only to find myself at a stumbling block. i was scratching out more than i was keeping and i could feel things backing up in my head, like a congested highway.
i realized i was trying to force it, though, so i picked myself and prepared to walk away for a bit. however, i’d only had a couple pages done at that point and i really don’t like leaving a writing session (where i have the time) with less than 3 pages, because i don’t trust myself to come back soon enough.**
so i stood there for a moment, looking down at the desk, mug and plate in hand***, ready to go, wanting to go, but still thinking about those last few lines i’d tried. i thought of doing it this way, then that way, then trying this other thing, or maybe if i-
and i was sitting down and writing again.
this was great, and i was through it. it had taken a little leap of faith to try a slightly different approach, nothing major, but it worked. this feels like an achievement; to be able to not run away from these stumbling blocks. not to beat my head against the page, though, as i’ve historically done when forcing myself through a difficult section. instead, to step back mentally (and sometimes physically, but not too far) and try to approach the dilemma from different angles, from different character perspectives, from alternate starting points, all sorts of things, to try and get back on the path that i’ve temporarily lost. this feels good.
then i stopped again, after barely another page, but this time for a totally different and potentially more significant reason. i’ve been going along pretty much according to the outline so far, which is great, but then one of the characters started doodling with her fingernail in the frost on a window, a gesture i had written simply to show her distraction, and i found myself suddenly staring directly at a bypass of several specific separate scenes i had outlined, like a highway cutting away miles of rural route.
and that’s where i am now. i’m still not sure if brevity is the soul of…well, not wit, but the best course for this situation. i’m weighing the overall impact on the larger storyline, which i think is minimal, but i don’t want to move too hastily. there are, i think, 4 scenes which i would be omitting by taking this route. furthermore, this new path presents some of its own difficulties which i had not foreseen, obviously, so just because it looks nice and efficient and all that right now, doesn’t mean it won’t bog me down with unintended revisions later on to make it work.
well, i’m going to sleep on it.
* not sure what’s going on, but this week has not been good for sleep, and last night was no different. felt like i was asleep for maybe 20 minutes at a time the whole night.
** what can i say? i’m easily distrac-
*** yes, more tea, but pomegranate this time, no caffeine.