Sunday, July 12, 2015

Dry Run: Update 14 (The Stall)

I can't remember who it was, but a famous writer said that "writer's block doesn't exist.  Laziness exists."  It stuck with me because when I heard that I had experienced writer's block a number of times, and I often abandoned projects in the middle, despite wasting many hours getting there.  Now I'm a decade or two older, at least six months wiser, and I still don't know if I agree or not (about the laziness thing).  A lot of my projects that fall by the wayside happen because I'm distracted by something else, or because I start to worry that it's not very good (which happens a lot--including during this one), and also, because it's easier to not work on something than it is to actually work.

And though laziness has also been my nemesis over the years (so bad I nearly said it was my STAR TREK: NEMESIS, the worst of the Trek movies), there have been times when I set aside time to write, forcing myself to do it, and couldn't manage to come up with anything.  My mind was just empty of ideas, of any drive to create something, and in those cases I tend to ruminate on or list abandoned projects until the writing time runs out.  That happens probably five or six times a year, but the next time I mow the lawn or go on a drive or awaken suddenly in the night, I'll have another idea I want to pursue, and everything is alright.

I say all this because, for the first time, we hit a stall during "Into the Furnace."  We, I say, for some reason, when it's really just me.  The last important character, the sheriff's friend from childhood, showed up*, and now the whole idea I had originally written down on that piece of paper in January was complete.  And I froze.

Ostensibly, I should only have a few pages left.  They get together, go after the bad guy, take him down, and the story ends.  Except I still don't know how to pull that off.  Especially since this little tale, which I envisioned as a short story, has ballooned into what it is now.  There needs to be at least one failed run, my gut tells me, before they succeed, because if they win too easily, then it's just lame.  I dunno, you remember IRON MAN 2, where they've built Vanko up as this more-powerful version of Iron Man, too tough for even Tony and the new Rhodey to defeat?  And they have their confrontation, and my guess is, it's thirty seconds at most they do battle before Vanko is killed.**

The problem is, if they attempt to kill the villain and fail, how do they survive that?  The bad guy is just too powerful.  There should be no second chances, and at least the town would pay the penalty, if not every person in it.  I . . .

Okay, I think I got it figured.  Maybe.  It could be stupid, if I set something up in an earlier scene and then have our heroes do something else, won't readers know it's not the end, that the thing I set up still needs to be paid off?  We'll see, but it feels righter than what I had in mind.

But I was talking about stalling out in my progress.  I had a lot of time to write yesterday, in the morning, during lunch, my break at work, but I didn't know where to go.  If I'd had my laptop, I'd have spent that time doing this blogpost, worrying about writer's block.  Instead, I summarized three scenes that still have to happen before the story can end, and then a fourth.  So the tale is not yet told, dang it.  I have to keep on truckin'.

Luckily, nobody but me cares about this stuff, about deadlines passed and focusing my attention on this not that.  I think I can still finish, though it may be July by the time I start on my novel (my other novel, I suppose).  But I do really enjoy writing these blog updates, and though I try to make them interesting, I don't know if they're enjoyable to read.

Either way, there are more on the way.

Rish Outfield

P.S. Here's where we are in the word count:

Yeah, I passed my goal, so I bumped the total count to 30000 (which is also too short), just so there was still something to work toward.  We'll see how long it gets me to type stuff up.

*And I have no idea why he had to be a friend instead of a stranger.  I needed a big game hunter character, and when I was sketching out the book, it seemed better if they already had a history together.  So I figured that they were childhood friends in St. Louis, and had gone their separate ways for these last fifteen to twenty years.  It made for a couple of jokes between them and some familiarity--and most importantly, there was already trust between the two--but it doesn't change the story any having them know one another.  Just makes it longer, I guess.

**I could have brought up the final confrontation with Bane in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, except I actually like that Catwoman killed him so quickly.  She's not an honorable character, and so she just shoots him with that big gun (something Batman--at least the Batman we know from the comics and cartoons--would not do), not entirely unlike Indy dispatching the Cairo Swordsman.  However, I never liked that Nolan didn't spell it out for us in that moment that Bane was dead, since I expected him to pop up again before the end, but in seeing the movie a second time, it was fine.


Journey Into... said...

I haven't read all of your updates, but the ones I have read I enjoy seeing the process. It's funny though, I always assume that the title of the story you are writing is called "Dry Run". But this just started out as a dry run of writing a novel, correct?

Rish Outfield said...

I'm sure I could write a story called "Dry Run," if it'll make you happy (though I can't guarantee it won't be about a new, improved form of diarrhea). But yes, this was supposed to be me trying my hand at reporting on (and typing up) a story I was writing. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you prefer to see it that way), the story turned out to be close to novel-length on its own, sitting at around 35,000 words so far, and still going.