The car is coming up the icy road. The driver is anxious. He's just found out he can expect the bad guys any moment, he has to get back to his house. He comes up the hill, his right leg throbbing from a former gunshot wound.
Oh, wait. I would really like him to ride the horse for the exit scene. In the snow with the misguided heroine clinging to his waist, bad guys chasing in a car -- not bad, huh?
How do I get rid of the car? For that matter, even if I do get rid of the car, what about his truck? It's still up there. He can use that to get away. Okay, say goodbye to the horse, hello to the truck. Ditch the car. Too ordinary.
Hey, maybe I should have the sheriff tow away the car. That gets rid of one vehicle. Wait, what about the folder in the trunk, the folder all about him? No, the sheriff wouldn't tow the car so quickly, the car has to stay. I'll decide what to do about the folder later.
Back to the hill. He's coming up the hill. He'll find his truck gone. The tied up heroine took the truck and fled. (Smart girl, but misguided as mentioned earlier…) Not bad. It means he has to turn around and go back down the hill and chase the heroine and his truck to a standoff somewhere down in town. Maybe her motel. He knows where's it at, the information is in her car which he is driving up this terribly long driveway. Okay, the truck is gone.
I don't know. I don't think I like that.
Hello! What if the truck is barreling down the driveway at the same moment he is racing up the driveway? Kaboom! Two disabled vehicles! We're back to the horse? Yea!!!!
Okay, so that is one hour in my head condensed so as not to make anyone sick. One little scene, one little hour, one little set up, hopefully a surprise for the reader, certainly came as a surprise for me. I know all of you go through this kind of thing over and over again, so this blog is about celebrating the tortuous gymnastics we put our brains through as we merrily type away. Thank Eli for mentioning torture and writing in the same sentence. It never would have occurred to me…
But what does occur to me is that writing this way is fun.
I had an agent for about fifteen minutes a few years ago. She said, "Tell me what you do to write a proposal." I said, "Well, I write a chapter or two to get the feel of the characters and understand the story and see if I think it can go anywhere and then I--"
She threw up her hands. Actually, she was in New York at the time and I was here on the other end of the phone, so I imagine the hand throwing thing. She said, "That's a waste of time. That's devoting time to an idea that may never fly. You can't do that. Don't write any pages, just write a synopsis or an outline and sell on that."
Which explains why she and I soon parted company. The truth is, I can write a synopsis without writing a single page of the book. I can sell it. But Lordy, the trade off, because eventually it has to be written and without that first fifty pages and the knowledge that comes from it, an idea has to be developed into meaningful story in twelve weeks. Ack!
If that sounds attractive to you, I'd wager you've either never done it or are a better writer than me. Because writing something you've not approached on any level except some intellectual "What if," thing is extremely daunting -- remember, you are under a deadline. There is a contract and money involved. The clock is ticking…ticking…ticking…
Nope, let me spend at least a few days charging up the hill. Is the heroine afraid? Dead? Angry? I don't know, but I wager since this is only page 25, her reaction is going to weigh heavy on the book to come and I need to know.
I am going to approach the current WIP in the following way. When something is about to happen, I am going to do my best to discard the first one or two or three ideas that pop into my head. I'm going to stretch for the one that's just a little further out of reach and hope my subconscious got there before me and loaded that idea with possibilities. I am going to remember that this experience -- the writing, the plotting and ultimately, the reading -- needs to be FUN.
How about you?