This weekend was pure torture.
And by pure torture I mean intermittent irritation in a backdrop of a wonderful weekend. So clearly I choose my words wisely.
I woke up to an unusual sound on Friday. Puzzled, I looked about the room, wondering what was sputtering and hissing little death pangs. Then a memory sparked, and joy filled me.
It was too much to hope for, surely?
I approached the radiator slowly. Knelt before it, and inclined my head. Yes.
I had heat.
Heat. I love heat in the winter. And to think, I thought merely being insulated from the elements was gift enough. What a treasure trove of comfort my new apartment is!
Insulation, hot water AND HEAT. All was good with the world. And as my new carpet had been delivered–my sole piece of furniture in my living room, bookshelves aside–I sat me down on a corner and enjoyed a delicious avocado sandwich and coffee. Perfection. Now my rug had served as a dining table and chair, too. Why, it was as if I had said luxuries in my home.
I lay back and pondered my book. And so it served as a sofa. I enjoyed it muchly.
But even so, it wasn’t enough to keep the hounds at bay.
For as I’ve mentioned, I was having problems. Character problems. Worse–antagonist problems. Me!
I thought about him. I paced the floor. I wrote his thoughts. His justifications. I cleaned the fridge. I thought about him some more. I cut my nails. Realized I needed a hair cut. Made soup. I listened to his playlist. I made cheese and spinach pastries. I cleaned the dishes. I washed the sink. I cleaned the toilet. I grumbled.
I read a book that had nothing to do with my own work. I got an idea that didn’t fit. I wrote it down anyway.
I searched for a quote that had moved me, and realized it was online and not in my books. I was not online.
I bought wine. I drank it. I noted belatedly that I ought not drink before writing.
I fixed my drapes. Then they fell. I moved them under the bed. And then I moved them into the closet.
I looked under my bed to make sure it was clean. It was. How unfortunate. My cursor blinked. I looked away again.
And that’s when I realized. I had a plot hole. Which is very much like a pothole. You can avoid it, but at the end of the day, the road isn’t good if it’s potholed. It wasn’t my character who was failing, it was his options which weren’t clear to me–because of a tiny question mark I’d noticed and never fixed.
So I spent most of Sunday sitting on my couch carpet writing alternate diagrams to figure out that tiny bit of backstory without which the plot founders 365 pages later.