It’s been a while since I actually blogged about my writerly experiences and thinking everyone could benefit from my ramblings (okay, I really just wanted to ramble about it anyway since that’s one of the ways I figure out plot problems- aren’t you lucky?) I thought now would be the time to do so!
If you’re new here and haven’t heard about my work in progress let me share a blurb:
The concrete was cool through the thin cotton of his inmate clothing as he tucked his knees to his chest and rocked. His eyes, fixed as they were on the cot on the other side of his room, were dry and bleary; his mouth felt as though cotton had grown in it; his hands constantly tugged against the restraints binding his wrists together. The raw scrape of them over his skin only aided in the appeal of friction- the feel of blood trickling down and away from the wound and soaking the gauze bandage still wrapped around his forearms.
Distantly he knew where he was; the off-white of the room and solitary confinement telling him he was back in the asylum. Still, he couldn’t focus on that and instead thought of escaping this tortured existence; this calamitous life he so desperately didn’t want to endure any longer. Desperately he, once again, began moving his wrists hoping he could at least break apart the stitches that lay so carefully hidden under the bandage.
What that doesn’t tell you is he’s in the asylum because he has a little problem called erotomania. Poor guy. Now for the complication (yes there is one besides the multi-faceted issues in dealing with psychopathologies): He’s a character from my completed manuscript (very small roll, although integral) and those “other” characters who already have their own book started to take Frank’s story over. Not cool. shakes fist You hear that, John and Julianne?! You already have your own book- now stay put!
If I weren’t dealing with this issue first hand I would probably be laughing and thinking, “It’s your story, you dolt! Aren’t you in control of it?” Unfortunately I’m in exactly this position for the obvious reasons- not reigning the story in and controlling it as I should have from the beginning. I fell into that rabbit hole of involving characters that need only be involved in the periphery in a more plot-integral manner. And of course I let that happen because it felt so nice and comfortable writing those characters again as well as enjoying the exploration of their relationship. What I SHOULD have been doing all along was focusing on my poor protagonist from this WIP and how his issues play out in all aspects of his life.
Normally I’m not an outliner. I relegate myself to that task only as I write so I can go through it and, with a quick glance, see what happened when so I could go back and either fix it or reread so I have the details straight in my head. With this story I’m still holding to my “no detailed outline written beforehand” methodology but am thinking it would have behooved me to jot more notes or annoyed a friend/colleague with the story until I successfully talked some sense into myself. Instead of waiting until last night. When I already have more than 10k words written (I’ve already deleted 2k of them thanks to this).
Anyone else have this almost schizophrenic type problem with their characters? Perhaps it’s more a dominatrix/slave situation? Regardless- pantser? Half-pantser? Outline ad nauseum? Wee bit of outline? Love to hear from any/all with words of wisdom in being the one wielding the whip instead of the one bearing the brunt of it.
Mean characters. I think they’re laughing at me. Just deleted them- I hear no more laughing. Except my own. Muhahahahaha!