When the Unthinkable Happens


Well, maybe that was melo……dramatic, but there again when you realise that the project you have been working on since September just is not gelling because the plot is getting subsumed in characters whose numbers are comparable to a public gathering and in consequence is fading ‘neath their unruliness then you might be entitled to give vent to a spectacular demonstration of feelings.

So much for my notion of full steam ahead! Arrgh! Eeek! (and spiffle! I can’t use spiffle anymore! I thought I had invented it as a mild expletive and now I find there as 9,200 hits on Google! I dare not look up ‘Scraith’….not yet anyhow)

Thus what does the poor writer do? (Aside from ditching this laptop! Yeh….your time is gonna come you Skynet acolyte you). Why, start again of course!

Yes, this is addressed to you folk who are just starting out on a writing journey. I must tell you this sort of thing happens all the time. You should always be aware of……..hold on let me just clarify something, I am unable to help you with your devious and villainous computer and its partner in fiendishness Windows, you must seek help elsewhere, I am only qualified to supply vitriolic statements when it comes to these devices……

Ok, so back to the story going flat. Yes it happens. Watch out for the time when the writing of becomes a chore, and when you are typing you suddenly develop the need to look at something on YouTube, Amazon, Facebook, Wikipedia and so forth. Your story should be drawing you in; if it’s not it may not be working.

But have no fear, back you go to re-write, remove some characters, see how that works for you. If you still find there is nothing but figurative dust and you have developed the urge to kill off characters who really are quite undeserving of a possibly implausible fate (‘Oh why isn’t Frederik here?’ ‘I’m afraid Josie, it’s bad news. He was on his daily jog through the park when a previously unnoticed alligator rose from the lake grabbed him by leg and dragged him under’. ‘Oh but he was the only one who knew the secret recipe for the gooseberry fondue’ )…. Then maybe it is time to go back to the beginning and start again.

What you say??? But I have written some 50,000+ words! This is unacceptable! Stay away from me you-you-you…person you!!

Fear not, keep the 50,000 words. There are bound to be useful parts, some gems which can be used as a groundwork for the re-start. In fact (if the demons in your machine are suitably cowed) you might be able to Copy & Paste parts into the re-launch. Throw nothing away, it’s all investment, much can be re-cycled or re-visited and pondered over.

Yep, this is just the process I am going through now. Starting right back at the beginning. Some characters were fun to write, they stay, some were good, but just didn’t fit into the plot, truth be known they were pushing the plot out of kilter. Some were just going nowhere. One had everything going for him, handsome, roguish adventurer, should’ve been ideal for a Fantasy novel, but….sigh. (A lesson for you. Stereotypes can be trouble, they tend to have as much personality as wet paper bag- actually a wet paper bag can generate pathos, or a comic interlude, stereotypes not so much)

Ah here’s to the new adventure!!





8 thoughts on “When the Unthinkable Happens

  1. I totally agree. Save the bits and pieces for they may add up to something quite worthwhile down the road. No effort should be disgarded…unless of course you can no longer find the instrument you write upon. May need a bit of a “Spring Cleaning” at that point!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Good thing the joy is in the process, not the goal! Lol! Good luck with the restart; I look forward to the blow by blow account…

    You do realize, of course, that the book you are writing on writing a book is progressing very well indeed. This latest chapter proves that to me, at least!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Gelling? Are you posilutely certain? Galling, jelling is what returned to me on query. Maybe you mean a galling jelly that won’t coagulate? And I made a mistake on another comment: I used “piffle” thinking that was the word you would no longer use because, darn it all, others are using it… by it’s “spiffle.” Pretty good expletive though, in fact admirable in an extemporaneous sort of way, well, almost – and yes I did look up that extemp. word and it sort of means what I mean, but go ahead, say, it: “Will you tell me what you’re saying?” I’ve been asked that before, and the truth is, I can’t. Enjoyed the read, and wanted to respond in like style, sort of.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I was very pleased with ‘spiffle’ until I checked on an urban dictionary and found it meant ‘cool’…..Bother! You can’t have characters being angry (in a mild way) and part of a potential audience think ‘Hey. What’s wrong with spiffle, like it’s cool man?’.
    Gelling, yep! A good definition, a jelly that won’t coagulate….at certain time that could describe my writing processes.
    Thanks & best wishes


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