Last night, I sat down in my chair about 8pm to write. I typed a sentence, then I was posting on facebook. So I closed facebook, and typed another sentence. Then I was on goodreads. And answering email. And posting on all the blogs I read religiously.
This happens to me every now and then, I think its what people call writers block. For me, writers block happens when I can’t figure out where I want the story to go. When I’m at the proverbial fork in the road, and haven’t mentally decided which way I want to go. Unlike many writers who map out their story in great detail, I create an arc and then I write. I know the beginning (where the last book left off) and the end (where I want the next book to start). The middle happens as I write and sometimes I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen when I sit down to type.
One of my favorite mini-arcs is the story of Victor and the Rotelles. That is an example of having no idea what’s going to happen. I was writing along, Vic needed supplies and a truck. He passed a bed and breakfast that had a truck parked in the driveway. He walked up the porch and knocked softly on the door to draw the zombies he assumed were inside to the bottleneck the doorway provides, and suddenly (from my perspective) there weren’t zombies, but living people inside. I had no plans to have someone living in there, but my fingers typed the words. Instantly my brain created two entirely new personalities, full of life and flaws and greatness and oddness.
Sometimes the story just flows out of me like it did with the Rotelles. Sometimes, the river of words hits a dam. In my case, that’s always when I have a decision to make. Do they go left or right?
So, thats where I was last night. The story can go left, right, or straight. Last night I couldn’t figure out which direction I wanted to go. I went to bed in frustration, and like many many nights, dreamed of Tookes and his crew. In my dream, they (I, remember, Tookes is me) went left, and it was disastrous. So, right it is!
This morning I’m typing like a mad man again! Hooray!