To Write or Not to Write…
Hasn’t really been a question before now.
I’m working on my third book and my Second Novel, and I’ve come up against something that I’m unfamiliar with… Writers Block.
Now let me say that I don’t really believe in Writer's Block. I haven’t run up against it before. I Write when I Write. And then I don’t when I don’t.
Just Do[odle] It
Now, I’m not a believer in this thing called “getting your butt in the chair and just Writing.” I believe in inspiration. I believe that, when the material for a book or a short story comes, it comes. I believe in ‘getting our buts out of the way.’
I don’t “sit down and just Write,” regardless of whether I want to or not. That doesn’t work for me. I don’t write fifty times, ‘I don’t know what to write’ and then all of a sudden I do.
I don’t generally sit down to Write something unless I have a clear sense of direction of where the Story is going to go in. (Same thing with these blog posts.) There’s too much Bad Writing out there to sit down and Force Myself to Write. I believe in crafting what I Write, just as much as getting words on the page.
But Some Works are Different
This is the first novel that I’m working on that is completely different. It’s from a Screenplay that I already ‘finished’ (I thought), but found out that I hadn’t. (Yet.)
In my other Novels, the only ’special effects’ that I have are crime scenes. Hard enough as it is to write, but they follow a very basic set of “how to’s” that have been around for a while.
Why is this Novel different? It’s because it’s a work of fiction that uses the tropes of Horror and Science Fiction, without being Horror and science Fiction. And that’s hard to explain. I want it to be a “page turner” (what Author doesn’t?), but I want it to be believable as it does.
In the Film Industry, this is what is now called an “Elevated Horror” piece of work. It’s not just the usual “Slash, Burn or Cut” horror, but follows the Alfred Hitchcock dictum of, “Show the Blade, Show the Blade heading towards its Mark/Victim, but don’t show the” (Everything Else — blood, guts, etc.).
The ultimate Battle Sequence that I have set to happen, is basically a Magic Battle. Except I didn’t want to write it just like every other Magic Battle in every other piece of Fantasy. Like, but different.
Also, instead of writing out what the scene was going to have happening in it, I merely wrote “insert special effects here.” Because I had written it as a Visual Effects Film, I intended to have a Visual Effects Crew to help me handle the visuals that went with this Scene. So I executed a ‘cheat’ I figured I’d come back to later.
Except I don’t have an Effects Crew to bounce the particulars off of. I only have Me. I have the Idea of how I want the scene to look, but… Getting the particulars down on paper is another story.
How is this a different Battle than every other fantasy book? It’s a tale of Dark vs. Light. But instead of both sides using standard Magic, the Dark Side uses that kind of Magic, the Light side doesn’t. And without going through and spoiling (as I was about to do), I’m going to leave it at that.
Suffice it to say, ‘Different’ is hard to do. And in the Horror/Fantasy realm, just about Everything has been Done Before.
“You Shall not Pass!”
The battle between Gandalf and the fiery Balrog in Lord of the Rings is of this sort of classic Battle. Gandalf uses his (undefined) Powers to hold The Enemy at bay, but in the end, he is sorely tested and Falls (fails).
I want my ‘Battle’ to stand as a very different (metaphorically as well as on the page) sort. Hence my inability to finish that Scene, and wrap up the Book.
I had planned on getting this Book out by Halloween (because of the subject matter), and then had to backtrack that Release Date because of my inability to finish. I may still have to keep pushing back the Release, until I’ve wrapped my ‘opus’ up.
This too shall pass
But because I have a rather firm idea of what this Scene needs to do and how it needs to play out, it’s not going to ‘rise’ to the level of Writers Block. A Writers ‘moment of rest’ before writing The Storm.
And That is how any Writer (who actually is a Writer and not just a Wanna Be Writer needs to see these little ‘blockages.’ Something to “Write Around,” instead of a blockade that turns into a burning pyre of flame.
If you already have a Short Story or Novel that you’re writing, sometimes the Writer just needs to set It aside. Let it percolate in the background. Let the Imagination have the time it needs to ‘fill in the blanks.’
And if that piece of writing ends up remaining set aside? Go onto another piece of writing. You may find that by going to another piece of writing, the pieces of the ‘puzzle’ that you’re missing, may fall into place.
I know that as soon as I am ready, This Scene will write itself onto the page as well.