WRITING A NOVEL: START TO FINISH, ENTRY FIFTEEN
The Curse of the Chinese Finger Trap
I’m tired of being stuck. I’m at a part in the novel that has me, I guess, not at all that excited. I’m afraid this will show in the writing which has been flowing well up until I reached this point. Here is my issue. The first 10,000 words are moving the story along, setting up future events, and building characters up. Then I get to a point in the book where what I must write is simply that—a scene of necessity. Not sexy, or future building, or character driven. In short, it’s boring. I’ve been trying to use as little narration as possible and this scene requires all narration. You see, I believe that when a novel relies on long periods of narration it’s a sign the author is writing out of his ass. It’s easy to get going narrating and get sucked into your own words, alight on the pretentious artsy wordage and description. I hate that.
So I’ve come up with a solution to get un-stuck. Because the harder I try getting out of this by staying in this scene, the more stuck I get. It’s a Chinese finger trap. Like a finger trap, I’m wagering that the less I try, the easier it will become to get out of this. Not writing is not an option, the book won’t write itself. I’m jumping ahead to scenes I’m excited about. I’m stepping backwards to spruce a couple scenes I’m capable of improving.
I don’t like the stepping out of order, but it must be done.
I’ve let this entire logjam distract me completely in my writing. I’m already seeing some success with this finger trap approach despite not having written on TUG again just yet. I’ve thought of a new short story—not an idea that a story must be built around, but a complete story, a short-short story. I’ve decided to slop it down as soon as I’m finished with this (the kids are with friends so I must seize to moment) to see if it further spurs the ole writing legs to get moving again instead of limping along like a zombie.
So I’m getting off here. Writing on the new idea. Writing tomorrow on a few scenes: the climax, Thaddeus’ first day down in the mine, sprucing up a description of the town of Humphrey to fit in with an overall theme of the novel metaphorically (but not too pretentiously or artfully so), and anything else I pull—quite neatly—out of my ass.