Well, I’d love to come and report that I made a huge breakthrough and the reason I’ve been so silent so long (sorry! sorry!) is because I’ve been busy writing.
I can’t say that, though. It’s not true. It’s just real life getting in my way.
But, I did have a sort of breakthrough. This very morning, in the shower. (Minds out of the gutter, please.) And I think it will help explain why I’ve been so stymied on this story for so long.
At first, I thought the solution was to back up, re-read forward, find where I’d gone off the track, and reset. I was all ready to do that. But…eh. I lost motivation. That’s on me, no excuses. I have some idea why my motivation is in down the tubes lately, but I couldn’t say for sure.
But in thinking about the story, I realized what I really want are some plants to set up the last scene I wrote better. I want to shorten the distance to the run, and I want to establish the circumstances better, you know…plant things for them.
It means going back to the beginning and finding those places where the plants need to go. One for each character, but the plants should be pretty easy. I just need a couple of additional lines in each of those scenes. But I want to also redress something my wonderful First Reader said a while back when looking at it for the first time.
I want to see if I can remove a telegraphed part. Maybe I should just not worry about it, though. I don’t want to make things worse, but if I can find a way not to telegraph it, I’ll change it.
It’ll also give me a chance to shorten, maybe tighten, things up. I’d love to do that, because I felt like it took a long time to get here. I sort of wanted a slow burn until flashover, but now I’m wondering if I’ve slowed down too much. Ah, well. We’ll see!
So basically, reading is the answer. The best inspiration I’ve had in some time came in a single thought this morning, with clarity and conviction. I really think these small changes, to give the central (not viewpoint) character something he needs to get moving forward. That will set up the situation I think I had envisioned long ago, while coming up with this story, and it will be just what it needs to help it unfold the way I imagined it would. Different, but the same, if that makes any sense.
Anyway, I’m not willing to tackle that much reading without some serious blocks of time to set aside. I know how I am; it won’t be just reading. It will be cleaning, refining, reworking as I go, just like all cycling back is. And then, I believe this will launch forward again.
The only other alternative is to take the whole story from about the fifth or sixth paragraph on and dump it in favor of going the original direction I saw the story going. It’s much more cliched, in my estimation, so this will be just the right thing for me to get the story back on the rails.
I’m sort of excited. I’ll let you know how it goes. And I’ll try to be more communicative going forward. (Life, work, weather…y0u know.)