Sunday, January 3, 2010

Breakthroughs that Lead to Rewards or Vice Versa: Part II

So, as I was saying in Part I, ever have a breakthrough in your story at a point when you didn't know you were stuck? Oh, I was stuck a little. But not in such a small way it didn't seem to count. Stuck, to me, is "how are they going to get out of this one?" This wasn't it.

Here I was, filling in a transition to my characters having an important conversation. My hero (the ghost, Ben) is present and he's more or less observing the heroine (his wife, Beth) and his sister (Carrie) settle in at the house. Beth is opening a bottle of wine while Carrie is wandering around the room looking at objects; photographs and scrapbooks and such.

I didn't think they were doing much at the time. They were just going through the motions. In fact, it was a bit boring, which is why I'd skipped this part to write the "good stuff" first. Here I'm filling in a hole. It was literally a lull after some tension and before the more meaningful conversation I had in mind and had already written.

Then a funny thing starts to happen. Objects start to become more important. Beth doesn't know which drawer the cork screw is in. It's a little thing that had been Ben's job and he whispers where it is in her ear. The scrapbook Carrie comes across is important too. As Beth tells Carrie, she put the scrapbooks together while Ben was away [as a photo journalist]. It made her feel closer to him. She added news clippings from his assignments and added what she'd been doing. Then they'd go through her scrapbook together when he came back. It dawns on Carrie that this last scrapbook Ben hadn't had a chance to see.

And then some serious what-if questions come to mind that lead to scenes to add. I won't explain that leap, but the whole point is that it all started with a lull. A lull that is no more, by the way. Now I think that scene is going to be suspenseful.

I love breakthroughs. Especially when they happen at points I don't want to write because I didn't think much is happening.

Ever have a scene turn to something more when you write out the details? Ever have a scene that you skip because it doesn't seem as important?


  1. Oh, I could just see the scene playing out as you were talking about it. Does Beth start to cry when she can't find the damn bottle opener or does she get angry? Anything? That is good.

    I had that little breakthrough the other night with objects too. I'm revising, and I was a little worried about messing with the first chapter since I had gotten a partial request off of it. But it was there, it was a pocket watch, not her father's but it belonged to the man who had saved her from a certain life of hell. And then I had a place where a lady bird was messing with my heroine's skirts, my heroine kept swatting at her hand. Of course, my hero believes it's because she's a goody-goody, but in fact it is because of much deeper reasons, which he'll discover later on.

    It sounds like you are much more upbeat. I meant to ask you earlier if you had a network of writing support.

  2. Renee,
    Well, Beth doesn't cry or get angry. In fact she waits for him to tell her. At this point she's been aware of his ghost presence for a while. They're both going through a strange adjustment to his being "there" but not.

    It's interesting isn't it how certain objects have deeper meaning.

    Yes, I guess I'm more upbeat. Because I wrote? *LOL* As for my writing support, it is a bit fluctuating. Of course, there's the new blogging friends like you and the Romance Writer's Revenge. Sometimes I do submit to a critique board, but it's been a while. I had great help on my first with a CP. There were a lot of changes this past year, so I've been kind of winging it with mixed results. :)

  3. I totally get the winging part. If you need anything let me know. I'll try to do what I can. I don't write contemps, but I do love to brainstorm.

  4. Thanks, Renee! I appreciate that and may take you up on it. Same here in return. :) And the next, whenever that may be, is going to be a historical.

  5. Yay! I love those historicals.


My Blog List