Betterer

Today was a better day than yesterday, even though my sister and I didn’t go on our usual Saturday jaunt. I did some work to get myself back into the first part of Dragonfly. Almost everything I’ve written in the last couple of weeks has been from the second half of the story, so I lost touch with the beginning.

There’s a particular thread I need to develop, so I dumped all the scenes I have that touch on that thread into a single document, printed it out and read it. There were some little nitpicky things I picked up on that needed to be fixed, but I wasn’t looking for them. I just wanted to know what I have so far, so I can start to consider what needs to happen next. I started to try to mind map my ideas in Writer’s Café, but it didn’t really work, so I collaged instead. I’m not sure what, if anything, that did for me, beyond giving me the pleasure of making something.

The issue isn’t that I don’t have ideas. I do. I know what happens, pretty much. It’s just that there isn’t a lot of conflict in what happens, and that makes for dull reading. I suppose if I think about the characters’ arcs, I’ll see why what happens is Bad, but right now I’m not feeling it.

I’ve got nothing in the pipeline — that’s the issue. For the last month, I’ve had scenes and ideas pushing to come out. Even when I thought I was out of ideas, things coalesced very quickly and new scenes came through. But now? Nothing. When I’ve got something coming, it’s as if there’s a fog bank in the back of my head that, over time, becomes something solid. Or it’s like something far away coming close, something blurry coming into focus. Until it’s close, focused and/or solid, all I have is a feeling in the back of my head that something is developing. I might have some ideas about it, but I won’t know what it is until it’s taken shape.

Right now, I don’t have that sensation, and I’m a little weirded out by its absence. I’m not sure what I’m going to do while nothing’s coming. Forcing things is never useful, since I rarely get anything valuable out of it, and I derail myself with it.

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