Friday, November 1, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake!

Or, in my case, let them drink coffee. =)

I started writing a scene this week that wasn't going as smoothly as I wanted it to. My hero and heroine have just met for the first time, and I wanted it to be magical. Think fireworks, think the description Sam gives on Sleepless in Seattle when he says meeting his wife was "like...magic." That was what I was going for. But instead these two people in my head were being a little awkward.

I did finally manage to get them inside the coffee shop for their conversation, which was where they were supposed to be, so that was a good thing. (Yeah, I know, I made them up. But you're writers, so you get it, right?) But I feel like the conversation still isn't going quite the way I want it. Or maybe their actual words are okay, but I think I have a lot of "he said/she said" going on. And probably too many lines where there's nothing at all, just lines and lines worth of replies so that you'd read it and get confused about who's saying what.

But I finally managed to get some better word count when I started letting the characters just talk. I quit trying to "write" and plan and construct my perfect little scene and just let them have coffee. I let them talk. I might go back and delete some of their conversation, or polish it. I might go back and add some descriptions of the coffee shop, or their surroundings in some way (OOOH! Yeah! That sounds fun. I might go do that now...) But the scene does exist on "paper" or, uh, computer screen now, and that's better than nothing.

So I guess I just wanted to share what I've been working on and remind you that something is almost always better than nothing. Just let your characters go sometimes, let them work out whatever they need to say, or do whatever they feel like they need to do. You can come back and polish later. But you might learn things that will help you later, and at least you'll be making progress. =)

How's everyone doing these days?


  1. I totally needed to read this today. It's Day 2 of NaNoWriMo and I'm already stressing about things not going as smoothly as I'd like. It's so easy for me to forget to just let my characters be themselves... Lol. Great post. :)

  2. Ashley, I feel the same way. I got up early this morning to write, bur just stared at the computer screen the first hour (-:

  3. I'm glad it helped, Ashley! Yes, Nanowrimo (and really, MOST of writing, I think) is about getting SOMETHING there. Go go go! Can't wait to hear how your November project turns out! =) Anyone else doing Nano?

    Angela--Those mornings drive me crazy! (Actually it's nights for me--my brain is completely useless creativity wise before mid-afternoon...)

  4. I'm doing NaNo...starting to roll finally as of today. It's been slow starting b/c I've been getting to know my characters and what drives that I understand some of that better, I'm very excited!!