Skip To The Lou

Metro train passes as a blur in the background; "Mind the Gap" is painted on the platform

mind the gap by limaoscarjuliet / CC BY 2.0

I am afraid, very afraid.

I’m butting my head against the wall with Julia, but she’s not budging. I thought if I gave her some time, she’s be less stubborn and I would clear my head enough to see the best way to write the wrong, so I backed off and started researching. Now I’m back and Julia isn’t being any more helpful than she was before.

I’ve deviated from my Julia-centric third person and have started following her roommate. Not good. I told a friend that I was going to spend the weekend whipping Julia back into shape, but every time I approach the computer, I feel overwhelmed.

I’m contemplating charging right past this difficult scene and starting on something that happens further down the road; I’m contemplating skipping ahead. I hate this. I feel like I’ve given up.

When I was wee writer, I would simply write whatever came into my mind. If it was a brilliant middle scene, so be it. A perfect ending? Even better. Then I would spend hours upon hours holed up in front of the computer or in the backyard pouring over those scenes and those scenes only. Was writhing the right word? Should her hair be auburn or red? I worried about all the wrong things simply because the transitional scenes weren’t coming to me. I expected them to materialize out of thin air.

I had lots of good endings and middles and beginnings, but they were rarely for the same story.

In college, I cleaned up my act. I allowed myself to jot notes about out-of-order scenes so I could remember certain phrases I like or details I thought might be important, but tried to stay very closely to the linear path while writing actual prose.

And now, between a stubborn Julia and a hard place, I’m contemplating skipping out-of-order as a possible writing jump-start. I’m afraid that means I’m going backwards in my writing, and that I’ll never be able to come back and actually write those missing transitions.

Transition isn’t exactly right. The scenes I’m essentially giving up on reveal important information…that’s why I’m struggling with them. I don’t know the best way to pull off the reveals.



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