I didn’t make it to the end of my 2 week hiatus on my mystery/romance. I only managed a week of not thinking about it. During that week I read a great book by Les Edgerton called Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go (I was sick, the kids were sick….it was a good week for research).
While reading his book I realized what had been fundamentally wrong with my story. I didn’t understand my hero and therefore got stuck in a scene that should have been propelling the main story forward but instead had become a chore to write. I was missing his motivation, what was causing his emotional quandary and without that there really is no story.
On a subconscious level I must have known because when I later reread what I had already written nuggets of it were there. But to be able to sit down and verbalize it? Not a chance in hell.
So I lay in bed one night and really thought it out in the context of what I knew was already written. And it finally hit me. His emotional issue, the one that drives him and colors all his actions. The one that drives the story forward to it’s hopefully emotionally satisfying ending. I knew it and the feeling of putting that cog in place was almost as good as sex. Almost. Well, not really but you get the idea.
After that epiphany, my story started invading my thoughts at odd moments. I had dreams about it. Random snatches of conversation flowed in my mind. I spent yesterday morning in court (long story made short…we were there as witnesses) watching people and thinking how they’d fit into my world.
And at 1am last night I lost the battle to stay away from the story for 2 weeks. I started writing and put down 300 words before exhaustion made me quit.
300 words may not sound like a lot but I started off refamiliarizing myself with my story. I found things to add, clarifications to make and before I knew it, I’d added 300 words to Chapter 1. Today I plan on working through Chapter 2.
Chapter 2 needs a lot of help and I suspect before it’s all over I’ll be deleting massive portions of it that just aren’t working. But I’m not going to do that now. This walkthrough is to add in those emotional elements that were missing before. The ones that will make the emotional connection with my readers.
And once I’ve finished adding in the bits that were missing, then I’ll be able to tackle that troublesome scene with the full range of emotional impact it needs, has really been screaming for and it will be….good.
At least that’s the plan.