Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Always Learning

I hate prewriting. Though teaching second graders how to write has shown me that some people actually find it effective.

Fine, little second graders, fine.

I'm been ruminating on this rom com idea. I would sort of jot down notes here and there, like when I should be asleep. I've got a great premise, but I was having major plot problems. For one, my protagonist was being proactive only in a reactionary way (oh, the female rom com lead. How troublesome you are). I needed her to create more story.

The frustrating thing was that I felt like no matter what I doodled and how I outlined it, I couldn't think of a new way to create her more story. I felt like all I could do was rerun through tired plots. In fact, the more I tried to expand my idea the more clearly I saw that it just wasn't going to work.

And then while I was sitting there, being annoyed and hating prewriting and thinking about Katherine Heigl as a tortured victim in a horror film, the answer came to me. Just like that. I don't even remember the thought that preceded the revelation. I was sitting there, thinking about nothing, and then I had the answer. Or at least, an answer. Maybe not the end all cemented in stone answer to my plot problems, but I finally had a character-driven plot, not just a bizarre circumstance.

Is that how it really happens? You're just sitting there and suddenly the Muses smack you with a lightning bolt or an arrow or whatever they're packing these days? Is that how prewriting is really supposed to work? Cause it's awfully slow and bloody annoying but in the end it got a result.

This time at least.

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