Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Sticking Place

"But screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we'll not fail."
-Lady Macbeth, Macbeth

I started writing a new story, Albatross, the other day and at first all was going swimmingly. Of course, there were the questions, like "should I keep character X or not?" but nothing too daunting. I got the characters introduced, got the conflict going, then got to the point where the character finds out the big secret and starts to react to it. Then... well, I got stuck. I know about how I want the last few pages to go, but the next page is giving me trouble. Where do I go now? What is point B?

I know what I have to do, I have to just truck on and fix what needs fixing later. I'm just having a hard time doing it 'cause I want to have a less-fuzzy idea of where to go next. This limbo place is irritating. On the up side, I made myself a deadline: Sunday. So, better or worse, I've got to get it done.

When you hit that sticking place, what works for you?

10 comments:

Whittaker Luckless said...

Booze.

Whittaker Luckless said...

Wait, what style of sticking place are we talking? WD-40 gets ANYTHING unstuck.

Whittaker Luckless said...

Dude, I was kidding. But now I am inspired...

Mishell said...

I like the booze idea. Hey! Let's all get liqoured up at your party on Saturday and help you get unstuck! (Damn this comment section! There's no spell check--grrr!)

Jenny said...

I second (or third) the booze idea. I also recommend plunging ahead and seeing where you wind up. Or! Try a couple things and see where you wind up...have character A do something completely unexpected. Then do it again in another draft. And again.

Or, like John would say, send in a couple guys with guns.

-John said...

Raymond Chandler first said that, I'm merely keeping it alive.

Whittaker Luckless said...

Shock therapy is another good way to keep things alive.

-John said...

Actually, it's a good way to kill them.

Debbie said...

Booze is good.

You could do the bracket thing with [then stuff happens] and write the ending that you have in your head. Let it sit and see what you need to have happen to connect the first bit to the last bit.

But booze is good.

Ali said...

Thank you all so much for your helpful suggestions. I'll take them each into consideration - except the drunkeness, thanks. Working at a bar means boozing it up lacks a certain appeal for me.