Fine, Meet Cataclysmically about a Chapter Early, FINE.

OMG, what a day.  I strained through this one, but I tell you what, I got it down, finally.

I had this horrible situation.

For my story line to work, characters A and B have to be kept apart until a dramatic confrontation.  They must, they simply must.  The problem is, character A is pretty much obsessed that no-one else find out about character B, and therefore is very much on tenterhooks, and with good cause.  But it’s vital, absolutely vital, that A not check in on B too early or B won’t be able to set into motion the second half of the book.  Good reason to keep them apart, no?

A, however, was having none of that, since of course the second half of the book contains exactly his worst case scenario of life as he knows it.  My lord how I struggled with A.  He kept popping up early, bent on foiling my plans.  Problem is, of course, it was completely in character of him to do so, and also he was adding some delicious tension to chop up the waters at the most perfect times scene-wise.  But story-wise, what was I to do?

I shall answer that rhetorical question.  I was to slog on.

And so I did.  I toiled away for an hour, writing scenes that I then spent hours editing, cursing, rewriting and then deleting. Finally, I threw up my hands and said to A, “Okay, A.  Have it your way–meet!”  And held my breath.

And B, bless the fictitious character, whose goals mirror mine (especially as B doesn’t realize how I plan to close the book), expertly deflected A.   Thereby allowing their confrontation to happen as planned.

Wow.  I released a breath I hadn’t even realized I was holding.  Oh, okay, fine, be that way.  I was well aware of my distress. Anyway.  I sighed heavily and turned off the computer in relief.

It was a meager word count, but I considered it a victory because a major hurdle–also known in writing circles as Ruth’s Inadequacies–had been surmounted.  A paltry two pages, but a hard fought two pages.  Tomorrow I could move on.

A few hours later, before going to bed, I felt around in my psyche as I am wont to do, and realized I wasn’t drained anymore.  (Apparently I retool on BBQ ribs and iced water.)

Tap, tap, tappity tap, grumble, muse, tap, tap, tappity tappity tappity tappity tappity tap tap.   One hour later seven new pages were written.

Yum.   Thank you B for acting based on your goals and fears.  And A for sticking it to me.


About sputnitsa

Born in the US, I grew up in Africa and the West Indies, and returned stateside in my teens. After a decade in international development, democracy work, and inclusivity training for domestic NGOs, I joined Peace Corps, and after a year, experienced my first Russian invasion. I followed that up by volunteering with refugees and youth, and after some vacation time climbing minarets and mountains, I returned to New York City, where today I work on social justice with college students, produce short films, and write.
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