And now to completely change the topic

Published February 21, 2006

With a couple of spare evenings, I thought I’d get some more writing done. I’ve not been doing very well of late. There was a brief period when I wrote three chapters in quick succession and then everything came to a halt.

I’ve been struggling with a conversation that two characters have to have to make the story progress onwards. I can’t seem to get the mix of dialogue and the right chemistry to make the scene progress smoothly. It’s driving me crazy.

To try and sort it out, I went back to the beginning of the two characters, where they met, how their relationship started, what kind of things happened, and I wrote them a bit of a history. But when I tried to skip time to get back to the present, it still wasn’t working. So, I continued filling in the blanks and ended up giving them a complete history. From their very first meeting to the position they are in now, it’s all charted and documented and now I feel like I understand them. Now, I can write the ever-so-important conversation.

Usually, I know in my head what’s happened to them previously and why they are acting the way they are. Usually, that’s plenty enough information for me to get across what I need to. This time, it was much harder, and I needed to have previous conversations in black and white to be able to get to where I wanted them to be. But if I have to do this with every single one of my characters, it’s going to take forever. I’m beginning to appreciate why some of my favourite authors take an absolute age to come up with their next book.

Note: Listen to me, going on as if I’m an actual writer. How pretentious.

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