Writing reboot progress report, 29 May 2014

Another busy day, leaving me pretty tired again, though this time no work tomorrow and I’m half way through a Kopparberg so it might be okay.

I’ve also been a bit distracted this evening. Aside from learning German competitively on Duolingo (I’m getting a little obsessed now), I’ve also been thinking about another story I’ve worked on on and off over the last year or so but never got far with. And I know I shouldn’t let another story in when I need to focus on something, but maybe it is time I took a little break, gave myself some time to think, because right now I’m struggling. The scene I’m on is slow, I don’t have a good grasp of the characters and I don’t have much of an idea where things will be going in the next few pages. So maybe tonight just needs to be thoughts and notes, working out what I’m doing, and giving myself time to breathe. Because otherwise I just know that whatever I write will end up being completely rewritten at some point. It’s not progress in the sense that I’m not writing actual words in the manuscript, but it does mean that I’ll have words to write tomorrow.

On the other hand, there’s only two days left of this challenge, and do I want to stop now when I’m so close? Not really. So maybe I can manage a couple of hundred words.

Thoughts and Plans:

So far I’ve not been handling this scene too well. Lots of dialogue, not all of which is strictly necessary, no conflict. So I need to hurry it along a bit and see if I can’t move on to something a bit more exciting. The problem is, what is that exciting thing? I being to wonder if perhaps I did this bit too soon. Not that I know when else I could have put it. Here, though, is the saggy middle, the slow section where I lose direction. Perhaps my error wasn’t in this reunion, but in making things quite so simple and easy earlier, during the confrontation with Laik. Perhaps a blunter, less friendly Laik would have worked better, a Laik who still essentially says the same things, but in a more concise, slightly more antagonistic manner leaving Fiarra still very much convinced that Laik is the Enemy (yes, with a capital E), and have a situation whereby Fiarra is now working against Laik and with the goal of escaping with her friends, whereby those two goals come into conflict with one another because Fiarra lets her hatred of Laik blind her to the possibility of manipulating Laik to unknowingly assist in their escape.

I think that might be what the real problem is – and it might mean I have a lot of words to cross out and retry. Not exactly a prospect which fills me with enthusiasm. That could be a week’s worth of work discarded. But I guess if I want to bring the true story through, the story I need to tell, and move past this hump, that could well be a sacrifice that needs to be made right now.

I guess this is what being a writer is like. Good progress for days, before realising that good progress wasn’t so good after all. It’s not like I’ve not gonna back and changed things before. But I’m not sure I have the energy for it right now. Especially since I already went back on this confrontation once. I don’t want to be rewriting this bit over and over, and I hope I’m not blaming this confrontation for other problems I’m having down the line – like not knowing where to go next.

Maybe a simple edit will do, rather than a full rewrite. A little cutting, a few changes to word choices, the addition of some internal monologue about how Fiarra doesn’t believe Laik, and I can leave Fiarra’s hatred of Laik intact.

And yet that still leaves the problem of what next. I can finish the scene I’m in with Teyt and Corun having to get back to work and Fiarra, without any money, being chased out of the pub. But then what? I guess she’d report to Siril and Deego that they’re alive and well and working in a pub in the town. But until my next major plot point, I’ve not got a huge amount sorted out. Fiarra plans to escape. She gets caught by the Governor. But in between now and then? I guess I’ve got work to do on her relationship with Laik, not to mention her relationships with her friends – who ask whether it’s worth it trying to escape, since it’s high risk and even if they do succeed there are some advantages to being enslaved they won’t have outside Barrent, like buildings and beds and a reliable food supply. And then there’s the magical sub-plot, driving a wedge between Fiarra and Deego. I mean, I guess that’s what’s next – having put Fiarra back in contact with her friends, now she loses them in a different way. But that’s all thematic. Events are what trouble me.

Okay how about this: Fiarra leaves the pub and returns to the festival, where she finds Siril and Deego and reports the good news that Teyt and Corun are alive. Deego mentions that he feels weird, but Fiarra mostly ignores him. Free to enjoy the festival, they make the most of it. Perhaps they bump into Prentor doing the same, and Fiarra is far more willing to talk to him than Siril and Deego are.

Listening to Eden Roc tonight (after a couple of false starts while writing the above with White Horse and Ancora). Starting writing at 22:09, because I just spent 40 minutes writing the above.

Progress:

Stopping at 22:23 with 372 words. Stuff done. Words written. Sleep required. Tomorrow: planning further ahead.

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