Friday, December 10, 2010

At the Crossroads

Okay.  I admit it.  I'm standing at a crossroads and don't know which way is the right path to take.  That's why I haven't written anything in days.  Hell, it's probably why I haven't blogged either.  Or maybe I'm just dragging my feet and using that as an excuse.  I dunno.

You see, I just finished a scene ending with a fairly explosive and pivotal event.  I didn't know this was going to happen until I wrote it, but it's perfect for what has come before and what has to happen in the end.  It's just deciding which road to take that has me all screwed up.  Several will get me where I need to go.  Several more will most likely just get me lost.  But only one is the right one.

I guess the only thing to do is to pick a road and take it.  I'll try that tomorrow.  If My choice leads into a cul-de-sac, well, then I guess I'll just have to backtrack to this turning point and try again.  Here's crossing my fingers that I don't get hopelessly lost and wind up at the end realizing it wasn't the end I was wanting.  Been there, done that.  I don't want this to wind up as a rewrite.  Those take too long and I'm an impatient gal.

So, tell me... What do you do when you're stuck at a crossroads with your story?  Forge ahead?  Or do you have everything planned out in advance so you don't get tangled up?

*If the voice of this post seems a little off, I just finished watching The Big Sleep** with Bogart and Bacall.  Consider this Bogie's temporary possession of one screwy writer.  ;o)

**  If you haven't seen The Big Sleep, it is perhaps one of the best movies ever - in my opinion, of course.  I bought it for myself for Christmas.  A little early hohoho for me.  =oD


  1. Pick the choice which makes things worse for your characters in the least expected way.

  2. I usually have an outline with about 50 or 60 rough ideas of what's going to happen. Sometimes, it's as unhelpful as "Characters get to X somehow". Usually, that's when this kind of thing happens--the unexpected, awesome thing that totally works but leaves you thinking, "Hm. How do I get you out of this one?"

    I'd do a story map. Write it out on a sheet of paper. Start with this one thing, and pick two directions to take it. Then plot through those two directions, and you'll start to see the more exciting (and efficient) way to take the story.

    Hope that's somewhat helpful!

  3. Hmmm... I've both forged ahead after making myself pick something and also stewed on it until it really clicked. Usually though, I choose the stewing option. If you have a few options, try jotting down a quick list of pros and cons to each one. Often I'll spin through ideas and realize that most of them make something else not work in my story, and then all the sudden there's the aha moment where I find just the right path and I know it. I try to wait for that. Good luck!