You Know What the Stinky Thing Is About My Protagonist Having an Epiphany?

file000349823764Answer:  It totally messes with my Writing Mojo.

As I mentioned the other day, my protagonist underwent an entirely unexpected conversion at the midpoint.  And it was glorious.   Glorious!

But it’s left me wondering where I go from here.

My son and I have been in Oregon since last Wednesday, cuddling my new niece and visiting family.  The last time I came home to Oregon was February, during the last school semester and my novel-writing class, and, thanks to my parents helping me out with Ben, I managed to write upwards of 10K that week.

This visit?  I haven’t even crossed the 1K mark yet.

It’s not for a lack of time. I have had plenty of opportunity to write.  No, it’s for a lack of plot.

My character’s external goals have not changed, nor have the events at the next major turning points in the plot.  But because of her conversion, I am left to wonder about the motivations behind her goals.  Those motivations have to be strong enough to withstand the onslaught of change that the midpoint has brought.  And are they?

This is an excellent revelation, my friends.  It forces me to make my story’s beginning even stronger.  But it also brings with it the temptation to loop back to the beginning and start over.  Under no circumstances will I do this until I have typed “The End.”  No revision can or will take place until I’ve seen this thing to its conclusion.

Yet… I feel discombobulated.  Perhaps like my character.  What just happened?  Where do I go from here?  How… what… why…?

When he was writing his doctoral dissertation, my husband’s hardest days of writing were the days immediately after finishing a chapter.  He finished, he rejoiced, he drank a celebratory beer, we went for a hike, but the next day… ugh.  The start of a new hill to climb.

In my case, it’s a different aspect of the same hill.   I came around an unexpected corner and ran into a rock face I didn’t expect.  Do I have my ropes, my harness, my climbing shoes?  Well, only some of them.  Do I need to go back down the hill and run to REI for the rest of my gear in order to scale this cliff?  It’s unclear.

Does this metaphor make any sense?

Of course, my pride is wound up in this.  I’ve told too many people that my goal is to have a draft finished by October 1st.  That’s not very far away.  I’m not sure I’m going to make it.  And turning around and running back down the hill to start this hike anew seems like a huge waste of time and energy.   I’m in need of help.  Not sure what kind of help I need, but I need it.

Perhaps all I need is time.

#ActTwoProblems.  Fellow writers, I’m sure you understand.

Comments

  1. Michelle Trudeau says

    Maybe you could poll some friends who’ve had conversion experiences and see how their perspectives/relationships/habits change both immediately and over time and see if you can have your protagonist undergo similar changes.

    Is that too sociological?

    good luck!

    • says

      No, not too sociological! Certainly an idea. One thing that struck me this morning was to go back to my guiding concept (I can’t remember the exact phrase), something that screenwriter Robert McKee suggests can possibly govern each and every scene – it’s more than a theme, but rather the arch of the archplot. When I considered that, I realized I had at least something I could tackle this morning. We’ll see if that gets the juices going or not. :)

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