Fall Back Position


Static on a TV and a man hunched over, defeated

End of (analog) TV (21th/52) by skippyjon CC 3.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexnormand/2540354734/

Julia is in draft 2. I think I might have mentioned this before, but I’m too lazy to reread all my posts right now to check on that.

Draft 1 had a poor ending…as in I stuck “The End” at the end of a page rather than actually tie up everything. So, while I have been writing new scenes for draft 2, they’ve all been based on some previously conceived ideas that just weren’t fleshed out. Now I need to end it, for real. There’s nothing to go on. I was doing OK with some of the new scenes…OK like Wiley Coyote running off of a cliff OK. And now I’ve looked down.

Since I’m not sure what to do, I’ve pulled a whiny Suzanne out of my back pocket. For a while, I was pushing through a scene in which she yells and pouts and is generally a brat. It’s a horrible scene. A cheap trick. I’ve done it before and it shouldn’t be rehashed. But it’s easy – an easy reaction to write, an easy way to get information out in the open, an easy way to push ahead, an easy way to produce tension, and an easy way to release tension.

When I say pushing, I mean pushing myself to write it. The scene wasn’t quite working, so I started avoiding it. I kept thinking about it and how I could fix what wasn’t working. It took me a while to figure out that it wasn’t working because it was the wrong scene. It wasn’t fair to Suzanne and it wasn’t fair to the reader.

I’ve read that, when the middle of a story sags, some writers introduce a new character, or kill an old one. Other’s suggest changing locations or even points of view. I’m not sure these options will work so well when I’m trying to wrap things up…although I could transplant them from the sweltering south to the frigid north now that winter’s here. Easier to describe the temperature I’m experiencing…there I go with easy again.

As easy as writing Suzanne’s temper-tantrums was, I deleted it all, so now I’m staring at a blank screen and  sweating.

Do you have any fall back scene starters? And, more importantly, how did you stop using them?


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