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Celia Cyanide
12-06-2006, 07:49 PM
This is difficult to explain. Do you ever have a peice of your story missing, and it's not so much that you haven't decided what to fill in, but more like it's there, you just don't know what it is yet?

I'm writing this, and I feel like I'm watching it unfold, and I'm trying to guess what the answer will be. Except that I'm writing it. Have you ever had this happen? How did you deal with it?

C.bronco
12-06-2006, 07:52 PM
For me that's part of the fun. I know the beginning and end, but not all of what happens in between. I work out chapters while walking around the neighborhood. It always works.

Nicholas S.H.J.M Woodhouse
12-06-2006, 08:02 PM
that almost always happens to me. you know how they say hindsight is twenty twenty vision? its the same for writing. only once you've bashed out a version are you going to know what is needed to make it look nice.

just bash it out and then you'll know and you'll make better decisions for it.

Celia Cyanide
12-06-2006, 08:12 PM
I have it all written, except for this one part. How do you get the characters to tell you what they're up to, when they're being so secretive??? :)

aadams73
12-06-2006, 08:23 PM
I just hurl obstacles at them and see how they react. Sometimes they die. :D

Soccer Mom
12-06-2006, 08:24 PM
Beat it out of them. Or if you prefer the gentle approach, try warm brownies.

Seriously, I can't always see the forrest for the trees. I have to finish the work. Set it aside and come back to it later. When I reread it, I can spot the gaps. I think obssessively about the story and write little alternate scenes until something clicks.

Carmy
12-06-2006, 08:29 PM
I'm having the same problem with one novel. The end chapter is written but there are two or three to write before I reach it. I know what will happen in those chapters but I'm darned if I can get it written. I've tossed that story aside and written others things before going back to it. Still it eludes me and every attempt I make to write the missing parts appear wooden and forced.

moth
12-06-2006, 08:32 PM
I muscle through it, deliberately write a sub-par patched-together lame-o cop-out thing that I know won't stay, and keep on going with the story. Usually when I'm writing a different scene, a character will say something that unlocks that missing part in that other scene, and I go back and re-write.

Sometimes this process takes several times through. One spot in particular, I'm on the fourth go-round. Each time I've thought I had the answer, but then a character will say something that I like better and I go in and change it.

Work with it. It'll come.

Bufty
12-06-2006, 08:39 PM
If they're being secretive, Celia, maybe it's really going to surprise you - and the readers- when you find out what's happening. I think it's a great situation to be in - it'll all come clear soon.

aadams73
12-06-2006, 08:39 PM
I'm having the same problem with one novel. The end chapter is written but there are two or three to write before I reach it. I know what will happen in those chapters but I'm darned if I can get it written. I've tossed that story aside and written others things before going back to it. Still it eludes me and every attempt I make to write the missing parts appear wooden and forced.

It's possible your end chapter is the problem. Perhaps you should try writing forward without thinking about the already-written final chapter, and see if that shakes the story free.

Celia Cyanide
12-06-2006, 11:31 PM
If they're being secretive, Celia, maybe it's really going to surprise you - and the readers- when you find out what's happening. I think it's a great situation to be in - it'll all come clear soon.

I think it's great, too!

Here is the situation...my characters are waiting for a clue from the antagonist. Like a puzzle they have to solve. I know what the clue will lead them to, but I don't know what it will be, or what it will mean. One of the characters has a book about Edie Sedgwick on his desk. I didn't think anything of this at first, but now I notice that the other character is an artist. So I think maybe that is a hint. Will it have something to do with Andy Warhol, maybe?

Shadow_Ferret
12-07-2006, 12:00 AM
I've had a few "epiphanies" while doing research instead of doing the actual writing. Its always fun when you discover something that fills what might otherwise be massive plot holes in your story.

MidnightMuse
12-07-2006, 01:11 AM
That can be a lot of fun - knowing where they'll end up, but not sure yet how they'll get there. The fun part being all the possibilities that come to you, then that big YES moment when the perfect solution pops into your head.

Gotta love it :D

C.bronco
12-07-2006, 04:00 AM
I let the characters do what it is in their nature to do. I love it when they do things I hadn't expected. I love it when they take over the reigns!

Celia Cyanide
12-07-2006, 06:01 AM
How long do you have to wait? I mean, I'm almost done with the damn screenplay, and I'm just waiting for this villian to get with the program!

scarletpeaches
12-07-2006, 06:05 AM
Shadow Ferret mentioned epiphanies. It's great when that happens; I've experienced it twice that I can think of straight away, when I've almost got to the point of, "Oh no; I have no idea what's going to happen at the end of this chapter!" and then bingo, it hits me, almost out of the blue, and I could jump for joy because those glorious words, 'The End' are in sight.

Sometimes...what do I mean? No, always...I have a character, the beginning, a spark - and a vague idea of the ending. It's getting there that's the exciting part. You know the destination but not the journey.

If your characters don't behave, poke them with spoons until they tell you what they want to do next.

scarletpeaches
12-07-2006, 06:06 AM
How long do you have to wait? I mean, I'm almost done with the damn screenplay, and I'm just waiting for this villian to get with the program!

He's a villain - what do you expect? Tie him to the railroad tracks and see how HE likes it! :D

K1P1
12-07-2006, 06:22 AM
I'm not very experienced at writing novels (I've got one mostly finished), but when I had one character that just wasn't coming through, I found it helpful to do a Stanislavski on him. I spend a long time inside his brain, pretending to be him, imagining what he'd just done, trying to react as he would react, to see the situation through his eyes. It took a lot of concentration to do it, but it was amazing the details that came out of it, and it really pushed the plot forward. Maybe this could help you?

J.S Greer
12-07-2006, 08:47 AM
I kill ideas and come up with new ones all of the time.

Stories have a funny way of taking on a life of their own :)

Celia Cyanide
12-08-2006, 02:55 AM
I'm not very experienced at writing novels (I've got one mostly finished), but when I had one character that just wasn't coming through, I found it helpful to do a Stanislavski on him. I spend a long time inside his brain, pretending to be him, imagining what he'd just done, trying to react as he would react, to see the situation through his eyes. It took a lot of concentration to do it, but it was amazing the details that came out of it, and it really pushed the plot forward. Maybe this could help you?

That is a great idea. This is a screenplay, actually, and the actress playing the villian is already cast. I should talk to her about it.

Carmy
12-08-2006, 09:33 AM
It's possible your end chapter is the problem. Perhaps you should try writing forward without thinking about the already-written final chapter, and see if that shakes the story free.

Thanks aadams73.

Unfortunately, the whole novel is geared and a build up to what happens in the last chapter. Without it, it falls apart.

K1P1
12-08-2006, 09:15 PM
That is a great idea. This is a screenplay, actually, and the actress playing the villian is already cast. I should talk to her about it.

In that case, I have no experience at all!

Celia Cyanide
12-08-2006, 10:22 PM
In that case, I have no experience at all!

Yes, you do. You just identified a well known acting method that might help me develop the script, and help the actress understand her character.

K1P1
12-09-2006, 04:21 AM
Wll damn, I guess those years as a drama major finally paid off. :D

PeeDee
12-09-2006, 06:51 PM
I started writing a short story the other day, with a character walking. He met another character, which I hadn't realized was going to happen. the other character introduced himself as a man named Dillinger, and although he hasn't done anything to make the point, I find him deeply disturbing and dangerous.

I have no idea where the story is going. I don't seem to have anything past three or four lines ahead of where I'm writing, like a thick fog. Zero idea what it's about.

It's fun. :D

brunoshouse
12-09-2006, 08:01 PM
I think I know Dillinger and you are right. He is dangerous and disturbing.

kdnxdr
12-13-2006, 07:36 AM
It has been so helpful to read through this thread. You all described for me stuff that I'm experiencing. I'm new to writing, working on my first story, and the things you are all talking about I refer to as "bumps in the road".

Thanks to the thread!

kid