Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ah, geez.... what happens next???

First let me apologize for this post being late. It's been crazy around here!

Now for the topic of the week: writer's block.

I'm not sure such a thing exists. Let me tell you why. As a reporter, the excuse didn't fly. I know. I tried it! I've never met an editor who said "You don't know what to write about that community function? No problem." Space had to be filled, and reporters fill it. Period. End of discussion.

Now as I dwell in the realm of fiction, I find an entirely new problem. No longer am I reporting what someone did or said, I'm coming up with the day-to-day activities of a fictional set of people. I can't ask them to give me a quote to fill up a few more lines of copy. It's a little (okay, a LOT) more difficult.

But not impossible.

So what do I do when I'm not sure what's going to happen next? I skip it.

Seriously. I skip that part and move on to the next thing I know is going to happen. For example, in my current work in progress Cerri and her spirit guide have just visited the Black Hills National Cemetery. Cerri goes home and... I have no idea!

But she needs to get some more information about the murder victim. She needs to find a direction to head. As a freelance journalist, maybe Cerri will get the chance to do a story on Bear Butte, where the murder took place. Maybe she'll get a call from her mother, a "wise woman" of the old tradition. Maybe she'll receive an e-mail from her sister, who also embraces the traditions of their mother.

So I'll write those scenes and worry about connecting the dots later. Either way, I'm actively working on the manuscript.

And writing is much like bodybuilding. If you don't exercise the muscles (or the brain, or the fingers on the keyboard), you won't make any progress! Don't you agree?


1 comment:

Melissa said...

I actually went to a meeting once, just once where the insanity and mass stupidity of the people was considered too much. There literally was nothing suitable to print. The night desk editor and I sat and laughed until we hiccuped over the tears it was so bad, but there wasn't nything we could afford to print. There were days I wished we'd been a gossip rag just for that story :D