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Writing interrupted

Stumptown
I was battering my brains against a writing problem this afternoon when there came a knock at my door. Rescue!

It was a former coworker, just passing by, and we ended up in an absorbing two-hour conversation about life in Stumptown, and wonky city politics, and the neighborhood we have in common. It refreshed my mind wonderfully. I felt smart and connected at the end of it, instead of adrift and lame.

What if, I thought: What if, in my story that's refusing to take shape, I insert a sudden and unexpected knock on the door? What if someone the protagonist hasn't seen for ages drops by? What if that person drops by with a gun?? Oooh...

What if the protagonist opens the door and there's nobody there, but there's a letter on the mat. "I saw what you did that day..." Or a package: the bloody shirt, the stolen heirloom, a hank of hair, the exculpatory proof...

What if the protagonist is high on opium and the apparition standing at the door is a hallucination dispensing mystical advice that turns out to be deadly? Or shows him the future--accurately?

What if I'm actually writing a fantasy and there's no opium and the being isn't a hallucination at all? What if it's an angel?

What if I open my door and it's the Angel of Storytelling, here to help me bring this sucker in for a landing? That would be cool.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
cattraine
Aug. 17th, 2014 03:45 am (UTC)
In my case
It would probably be another damned cat demanding I adopt it.
emeraldsedai
Aug. 17th, 2014 06:40 am (UTC)
Re: In my case
Hah! Probably, huh?
cattraine
Aug. 17th, 2014 09:56 am (UTC)
I think there is a feline notice board somewhere. 'Go here for a sucker.'
emeraldsedai
Aug. 17th, 2014 07:58 pm (UTC)
I've got an arty replica of an old hobo sign hanging next to my front door. My mom gave it to me when I bought the house. Its meaning according to the arty-replica marketing label is "Kind woman lives here: you can get a meal." Apparently in actual Depression-era hobo sign language, the tone was more like, "Easy mark here."

Either way, I'm sure that cats are hobos and can read that sign.
helenajust
Aug. 17th, 2014 11:13 am (UTC)
Even introverts need some human contact now and then! and I guess that goes for fictional characters too.
emeraldsedai
Aug. 17th, 2014 08:00 pm (UTC)
So true. The character giving me fits is, in fact, the least introverted person imaginable, but perhaps that's part of the problem.

I ran across a bit of great writing advice this morning: when you're stuck, feeling like you can't move a scene forward, start listing all the things you definitely don't want in the scene. I'm about to try it.
cattraine
Aug. 20th, 2014 07:22 am (UTC)
Actually, the sigil for a kind woman was a picture of a cat. LOL That one is actually is easy mark! LOL
emeraldsedai
Aug. 20th, 2014 08:17 pm (UTC)
At the time, I had three nieces and a nephew living across the street, so the four triangles were more personally significant than they are now that the kids are grown up and gone away. I made a lot of mac and cheese and batches of cookies in those days. I was sad when each one outgrew the "auntie" relationship.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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