Figtrees of the Writer's Menagerie. Falling short. Oh heck

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Turning Suffering Into Writing

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Sep 25, 2014
You know those times when you thought you had the chapter nailed for good, and then you look again, and you haven't....

It was a figtree of your menagerie, not even epic yet. Like @Paul Whybrow's post about Zadie Smith. She looks back, seeing only faults.

And in your mind, you hear this...

Epic Fail

It's probably structural but it should always feel like that, shouldn't it, because you're working at it, raising your bar. The better you become, the more you'll see your failings. Until one day, one day, MAYBE...


Something is born

You thought you'd try again for birth
You thought to land again to Earth

And you'll think it's nothing.
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For me, some chapters almost write themselves, and then others keep me up at night trying to make them work. It can take days, even weeks, of head scratching to sort out a tricksy bit. But oddly those are the ones I enjoy the most when I finally get them pinned down.
Whatever world I'm writing about, it has to follow a logic within that world. It has to make sense. Sometimes I get to a part of the plot when I want it to go in a certain way, but that does fit into the logic of my world. I get frustrated, and move on ( leaving my illogical twist in place ). Some time later I'll wake up in the night with the perfect solution, get up and correct the manuscript. Those moments of inspiration are impossible to predict, but are very welcome, and have helped my stories be believable... I think ;)
Aaargghh! The Epic Fail version of the 2001: A Space Odyssey theme is a musical version of someone running their fingernails down a blackboard. I think I'll have it played as my coffin disappears into the oven at the funeral directors! I like having the last laugh....

As for scenes that don't quite gel when you write them, I usually set them aside, in the hope that my subconscious will provide a solution while I'm not actively thinking about the structure. If this doesn't work, I'll write the scene from another participant's point of view, or at least imagine it, as shifting focus sometimes reveals possibilities.
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Please allow me ...

Turning Suffering Into Writing