Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Making a scene

Last night I wrote a scene where one of the main characters force-feeds a crack pipe to an uncooperative fellow, making him chew the glass until he's spitting blood. Sometimes writing is just too much fun.

It was one of those late addition scenes too. Not in the outline until I sat down at the computer late last night. I was about to go into a scene I wasn't 100% behind and in thinking about it the day before and during the day yesterday I hit on a logic issue. It was one of those, "Well, why wouldn't they just go here?" kind of things I hadn't thought about before but any reader would realize very quickly. Yeah, why wouldn't they go talk to those guys if they're looking for the missing man? It made total slap-the-side-of-your-head sense once I thought of it. So after a few small adjustments to previous chapters I sent my characters off on a new mission and hence the resulting crack pipe feast happened.

Just goes to show you that writing cannot be defined by time at the keys. I "write" quite a lot before I've even set down the first word. Thinking about the story, hearing the characters speak in my head. That is all writing too. It is letting a story come to you and then pushing it along when it stalls out. Much of this happens when I've gotten into bed and turned off the light. Much of it happens when I'm driving to work. You have to be prepared to stash away ideas as they come.

As for adjusting on the fly, I always find once I have a solid structure it is the small detours that usually add the most flavor. For me anyway, I can only take these side trips once the route is already established. Hopefully it turns out better than the time my Dad took my sister and I to see Lincoln's cabin en route from Iowa to Connecticut and it turned into a 6-hour detour to see - a log cabin. For a 9-year-old kid this was hardly worth it. Still haunts me.


Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Eric- Your process is very similiar to mine. I do try to write between 9 PM and 1 AM, but most of my ideas or plot solutions come behind the wheel or lying in bed, somtimes ending up on little scraps of paper, or even on my arm, if no paper is handy.

Now, a crack pipe in a story will always get my attention, but making someone eat it, is just plain awesome. Hopefully, I'll get to read that story!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I love it when my unconscious completely takes over. She is a much better writer than I am.

No, you are.

No, you are.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Oooh, lovely!