Monday, September 21, 2009

Rip it up and throw it away!

The Bell-Men WIP has bogged down in a swamp. Not a literal swamp. A swamp of bad ideas and poor characterization, I'm afraid.

It's Ruby the roommate who's the problem. I never intended for her to be a main character, but I made her a little more important to the plot and now I realize I don't have a handle on her personality. Is she silly and fun? Is she practical and organized? I know she teaches dance, but that's about it.

So this morning I decided I had to give her an Issue to deal with. I decided she wasn't happy with her job and was thinking of quitting before she's fired. Then she started yammering about wanting to start a business with Cam, the main character. Every word I've written today feels false and stupid. I'm going to have to pitch just about all of it, I'm convinced. In fact, I'm about to go in and draw big X's over the pages I've written already.

Then I have to rewrite it. The honeymoon is over with The Bell-Men; now this is work, and I don't have any scenes lined up that I'm looking forward to writing. Worse, I've set it up so that the spell that drives the whole plot only works on the full moon, which has just passed, so now I've got a whole month to kill before the plot moves forward. Something tells me I'm going to have to change that.

15 comments:

Cate Gardner said...

Keep the faith - down on her knees and begging - please, please, please keep the faith. Bell-Men for me is up there with 'Evil Outfitters, Ltd' and I will have a chance to read both some day.

Horror Girl said...

Your post title is my writing style :^)

Aaron Polson said...

Oh please keep going! Keep writing and let the character sort herself out in the end. I need to read The Bell-Men!

Write on...please?

K.C. Shaw said...

Cate--You just made my day. The Queen of Titles likes two of my titles. :)

HG--It's getting to be mine more and more.

Aaron--Oh, I am. The first 20,000 words are good enough that I refuse to give up. It's just a lot slower going now than I'd hoped.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Would a counter-spell help?

K.C. Shaw said...

It'll have to be something like a counter-spell or all the characters will be treading water for weeks.

Lertulo said...

I'm hearing Bill Cosby's routine: "How long can you tread water? Ha ha ha."

Me, I'd use the slip past the full-moon as an opportunity: got to find a way around that requirement.

K.C. Shaw said...

You're so positive! Actually, I do think it's an opportunity to enhance the plot. I think I've worked out a way for it to make sense, too. I'm going to drag poor Cam back into the land of the Bell-Men in a day or two, one way or another.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I have hit that point as well. I need something to move the plot along and I am unsure how to do that right now.

K.C. Shaw said...

I'm almost ready to call in the robots and ninjas, myself.

Jameson T. Caine said...

Ha! I was just about to say, time for ninjas!

This is something I think non-writers fail to understand - how a fictional character will suddenly assert themselves, throwing the writer for a loop.

K.C. Shaw said...

I suspect my characters are drumming their fingers and giving me meaningful looks right about now. :)

Danielle Ferries said...

I hate when those damn minor characters won't stay in the background. I agree, keep slogging away and hopefully you'll get back on track.

K.C. Shaw said...

Ruby is being pushy, but maybe that's what the book needs. :)

BT said...

The trouble is when the minor characters march to the front and gesticulate rudely in your face.

For a pick me up - go read my review of Jack on the blog. If nothing else it should bring a smile to your face. I loved the book - congratulations.