It’s Thursday and that means it’s time for me to throw a random sprinkling of thoughtful, motivating words at your eyeholes and hope you don’t go blind!
I tried throwing glitter once and I’m still cleaning it up. And people keep calling me Jasmine and offering me dollar bills.
Today at Panning for Clouds I’m gonna talk about those times when shit’s just going right and despite a dancing plethora of blockades and exhaustion, words are just falling out of your head at an incredible rate and you couldn’t stop them even if you wanted to.
It’s called “motivation”. It’s called “the muse” and everyone knows I’ve talked about that before. It’s called having a blinding moment of clarity (not brought on by glitter) that just rocket propels you into next Tuesday.
It’s called any number of things, but it’s the best day when it happens. You finally tag a plot element, or find just the right motivation for a character in a scene you were struggling with. You figure out a plot twist that’s both natural and not likely to be seen coming.
I had that happen yesterday, in fact. My time travel twins story (WIP title Triple T) was floundering a bit in the last quarter of the story. I’m in the home stretch but I was meandering about because I couldn’t figure out the hook for the climax, the emotional cantilever upon which the entire story needed to hang. I knew where I wanted to be, where the characters needed to be in the end, but I wasn’t finding the right set of motivations and rationale to get us there.
Yeah, I’m referring to me and my fictional characters as us. Suck it. #theyreallmeanyway
And then I was running through the rules of my time travel and a moment of inspiration struck, and I understood an element of how it worked and how the logistics of it could be twisted for possible paradoxes. I knew there was a paradox in there despite my best efforts to work around them, and I found it and it’s perfect.
So I’m on a roll. I was stuck and now I’m not. When I got past the stuckness and moved into swift motion it was ridiculous to me that I hadn’t seen it before.
When you get stuck, sometimes the best thing you can do is to just review your notes, re-read sections of the story. Take a step back, get out that magnifying lens, and figure it out. You can talk it out with people if you’ve got them, you can work it through in your own head. You can even write scenes of dialogue with your characters that you’ll ultimate pitch into the edit can because you didn’t need the dialogue, you needed the ideas that they presented to you.
I ran through what I had and in those elements was what I needed.
Chop that mental block down any way you can, and always remember to write the hell on.