It's been quite some time since I've done any significant writing for the infamous work-in-project that is my book. I'd gotten 50,000 words in and was forced to stop, not because I'd written myself into an impossible scenario, but because I hadn't done enough backstory to really know how things should be playing out. And if the author doesn't know, I can tell you that's the quickest way to contradict yourself and not only confuse the reader but likely piss them off as well.
Unfortunately, once I set down the pen and got to plotting, I was forced to confront the reality of the structure. Yes, I had a beginning, middle and a (in my opinion) helluva good end. Yes, I had scenes I definitely wanted to put in for action. I had a bunch of dialogue and revelatory exchanges, too. What I didn't have were was the, well, cyctoplasm of the piece. The goo that holds it all together and makes it a work. I had too many elements and not enough connectors to make them all make sense. In short, I suffered from an overabundant imagination for thinking up cool ideas and a stagnant imagination for how to put them all together. Or, perish the thought, whether some should be included in the first place. The story that I want to put down is ambitious, and thus the plotting and backstory that needs to be written is like a book in itself, just much shorter, told in paraphrasing, and murderously complicated (and far more than it should be, which is why this process is ongoing).
So, over the last 4 years (cringe) since I've written new pages I've set to thinking about the plot and slowly working it together and also working the term 'myth' into my status as a writer. Unfortunately, at the beginning of that time, I was laid off the job I had at the time, so I was a little distracted with the attempts to find gainful employment. And then, when I finally found another job, it kept me far busier than I had been previously, learning new technology, inventing procedures, etc. In short, I started to become a little more caring about my career, such that it was, and wanted to put a little elbow grease into it. And writing could take a back seat. Not dead, but certainly needing a good dusting every now and then.
In that format, I've been operating at a snail's pace (but a pace nonetheless), coming up with answers to plot questions once in a blue moon, tightening up the project one small pull at a time. This weekend something just popped into my head while I was on the eliptical machine (the vast majority of my plotting 'revelations' happen there when I'm zoning out), and I rushed back to work to write about a page of backstory that finally connected one of my most worrisome dots. I won't say that I'm near the end of the plotting, but it was another gigantic pull towards the final product.
One of the best things about writing is when you get those little moments and you write some little phrase or scene and you know it's cool. Those are the great days. The worst days are the ones where you sit and stare at a page and try to wring something, anything out and it just-will-not-come. Unforunately, I've found that like anything in life, you need balance to accomplish anything. You can't have the good days without the bad, and the only way to have the good is to think about what needs to be done and work at it. Just keep at it, as much as possible.
And why am I writing all this on the blog? Because of the little moments, and because there are apparently job openings right now for a position where your cool moments will be even cooler:
- IGN FilmForce can exclusively report that Lucasfilm is seeking screenwriters for its planned TV series based on George Lucas' Star Wars film saga. Keeping with Lucas' penchant for security, the show will be scripted at the bearded one's secluded Skywalker Ranch. Work will commence this January.