The Disorganized Muse
I’ll be out of reach when this goes live, so I’ll ask my fellow Mad Geniuses to add helpful suggestions and answer questions.
In an orderly Universe the ideas for stories in a series would come sequentially, in proper order.
Unfortunately, Chaos rules this Universe, and is concentrated in my subconscious, where my Muse usually resides.
So, how does one deal with a minimum of three ideas (a new one pops up every time I get to a scene I don’t want to write, but really need to) at once? Well, since hitting your desk with your head has never worked (for me, give it a try if you want) I generally try to force some degree of order to the tangle of my imagination.
First, I tell my subconscious that this is just a brief, refreshing break, to write down the new idea so it will not get lost. Also, I remind myself to give the file a very obvious name, so I can find it again without an hour long search.
Then I get back to what I ought to be writing.
Still not up to battling Alien invaders all through the streets of Paris? Then put in a /// Battle of Paris /// marker and get on with the next scene.
Right. So you write the rest of the story, a good finish, the heroes rewarded . . . and the Battle of Paris still looms.
And sometimes the words still won’t come.
Sometimes you can ignore it, write something else, and the Battle of Paris will interrupt _that_ story. Effing Muse!
And sometimes you have to grit your teeth and just do it.
This, I regret to say, is where I have to outline.
I. An Explosion! From Character A’s POV
. A. Located in the western suburbs
. 1. Character B is near enough to go check it out.
. 2. Identifies attackers, notifies A
. a. Car wreck, people running away
. b. Climbs on wreck to see why
. c. Tank coming down the street, crunching cars as it comes toward him
. 3. Goes and kicks Alien butt
. 4. Fights to the portal and closes it
I’d also break down 3 and 4 into baby steps.
First he does this, then they do that. Bang! A friend has arrived with weaponry. Then this, then that.
Just cold, hard, logical actions and reactions.
Then I start writing, inside the outline, replacing the outline as I write it out. Put in the emotions, the running, hitting, shooting, the sweat, the blood, the bruises, the exhaustion, the determination.
I really hate to admit it, but this actually produces (for me) a better action scene than just winging it. Perhaps the logical side of my brain has a use in writing after all! Ha! Take that, Muse!
And yes, I am currently outlining the Battle of Paris, no, it won’t be published anytime soon. Because the Muse wanted it written, even though it can’t happen for several year in the series. Yeah, the Muse wins. As usual.
So, that’s my solution. All writers please chime in for how you deal with “The Scene that Won’t.”
And the usual self promo: