Fighting… with my WIP

How can you tell an author is about to have a massive, glorious writing binge? She announces she’s going to give up writing (whether on the particular story, or on writing altogether, is up to the author, the level of frustration, and the level of hyperbole.)

I’ve seen this. I’ve seen Alma state firmly that she is going to write on X. Absolutely, X. Nothing but X. X needs to be finished! …And then the familiars sneak in the back door like the little (expletives) learned to pick locks, and she’s shaking out her wrist because she just did 2,000 words longhand while sitting on the couch.

I’ve seen a certain other friend state she’s quitting the book. Giving up! She can’t figure it out, and it’s all terrible, and she’s going to go write fantasy instead! …Yeah, you guessed it. The next time she’s on chat, it’ll start with “So I figured out what those two (main characters) were up to, and what happened next. I think. They’re so frustrating!”

Another friend, she talks of giving up writing altogether. I make soothing, supportive noises, and remind her that she has a day job, and can do this as a hobby, not to professional standards and expectations. …And then she commits anthology again.

Me, it started as a plaintive “when is a WIP officially a W-no-longer-IP?”
Then it came the realization: I hate this fight scene, because I tried to do it badly and edit better, and Calmer Half hated it. And I don’t want to write it again, because I don’t want Calmer Half to reject it utterly out of hand again. Also, because I hate rewriting.

So I edged around to it, taking two more scenes to get there. And talked to Calmer Half about specifics, and he made an effort to be gentle and thoughtful. And about a thousand words later, and reworking some of the tactics, Calmer Half still doesn’t like it, but he’s willing to acknowledge that it could work that way.

Maybe.

But at least it’s at a point where it’s on paper, and I can edit better.

Probably.

You’ll be unsurprised, there was shopping involved. Poor AJ. And bits like this:

Negotiating the doorway turned into the usual civilian cluster, and AJ ended up holding it open just so they could get themselves and their excess acquisitions though. Why the hell downwell civilians, especially women, had to accumulate so much baggage all at once, and then manage it so badly, so far from their center of mass… He scanned the parking lot for possible threats, and mentally shook his head. The frilly blue and yellow thing he was going to take his time unwrapping off his wife had to have six to eight times the mass of cloth of an entire set of shipknits, and while she’d look good in anything, it definitely looked good on her. Multiply that by a week’s outfits, though, and the question answered itself.

6 comments

  1. Dear lady, your purpose in life is not to write books, it is in fact to twist and torture the lives of your characters. So of course they are going to retaliate by refusing to bend to your will. Tis a thankless job that no sane person would ever attempt. Which is why this blog has the name it does.

    1. I swear, I’m going to write a shopping trip in which nothing blows up, burns down, catches fire, or catches a case of gunfire.
      …Maybe up on the space station by the jump gate.
      What could possibly go wrong?

      1. You want to set this aboard a space station?
        Yeah, you’re right. What could possibly go wrong? Should be easy. No pressure. No pressure at all…
        [evil-laugh.wav]

  2. “I hate this fight scene…”

    Yes. And there’s probably a good reason you hate it. The reason hasn’t bubbled up to the surface of your mind yet, but it is in there. For me it is often “would this guy really get in this fight? Really? Isn’t he smarter than this?”

    This happens to me fairly constantly. I’m writing along, and I think things should go a certain way, but the characters are not cooperating. Ferinstance, I’m saying why can’t the Heroes just go blast the bad guy in X situation. They’ve got lots of firepower, the bad guy is BEGGING to get blasted, etc. I really want to blast him.

    They’re saying “Nope. Forget it old man. Blasting the bad guy is for the weak.” They have higher standards.

    So now I have to sit and think of something interesting that they -will- do. Which can take quite some time, I must say.

    What I normally do is sent them to the coffee shop like they do in anime, or the beach for a little fan service. Werewolf goes to the beach, gets sand in her toes, wears a flowery bathing suit, drinks out of a coconut with a little umbrella in it. Hugs her boyfriend. Out of that, and some sunbathing, usually an idea comes.

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