Here's how I did it.
I was plugging along, hammering the keyboard as fast as I could to keep up with my racing mind. Things were happening fast and furious. My protagonist and his wife were fighting and dialogue was flying out of their mouths faster than I could type. It was one of those times where the story literally took off and wrote itself.
Even I was a bit surprised at the events that unfolded. Once I finished the scene, I liked the chapter and thought. wow what a punchy ending. Sure there was a small niggling at the back of my brain but I truly was caught up in the euphoria of the story and the character's actions.
Then the next day I sat down to write and said okay ... Where the heck do I go from here? Oh, I still knew the ending for the novel, that didn't change, but the problem was I no longer knew how to get there. Once upon a time I knew the path, but then I doused that bridge with gasoline and let one of my characters loose with a book of matches.
It took me three or four days to realize the only answer. DELETE.
The scene is good if I do say so myself but it cut the legs right out of my story. The tension came to early. I know some writers who will say you have to listen to your characters. Let them dictate the pace. See where the story goes. Well, characters are like teenagers. Sure you listen to them, even let them state their opinion, but in the end you are the parental figure and sometimes you have put your foot down and say no. I will not let you do that because it is for your own good. Otherwise our stories would fail their next algebra test, or suddenly turn up pregnant with eighteen piercings in their eyebrow. A little authorial discipline is a good thing.
TWO LINES I'VE READ THIS WEEK (Visit the Women of Mystery Blog for more about two line Tuesday)
From Back Roads by Tawni O'Dell
I knew it was stupid for us to be sitting around blaming each other for abandoning each other and trying to figure out who did it first. It wasn't any different from asking, "Which came first the chicken or the egg?" knowing full well it didn't matter because God had to come before either one of them.
And from my novel in progress, Plundered Booty
These days, half the screen was missing, and the lot was littered with waist-high weeds and broken down speakers, but Red Dirt’s drive-in had been the first place I ever took Rachel on a date. It was also the first place we ever ... though that’s no great coincidence, since both events occurred on the exact same night.
So, ever write yourself in a corner? Ever read Back Roads? Have an opinion on what came first, the chicken or the egg? Been to a drive int theatre lately? Had your first taste of love or at least lust beneath the glow of an outdoor screen? Pay your taxes yet? Got anything to say? I'd love to hear, so drop me a comment.