Thursday, July 7, 2011

The battle against Scenezilla

Sorry to be so uncommunicative this week, but you see, I've been fighting a monster. I call it Scenezilla.

You see, I started working on a scene in my novel--a pivotal scene in which the protagonist is forced to make a decision he doesn't want to make--waaay back on June 30. Now, I realize that June 30 was a mere week ago and that it might not seem like a long time to be working on such an important scene.

But you see, I've been writing at a deliberately breakneck pace up till now. The idea is to reach the end of the story so that I will have a Completed First Draft (cue celestial choir). The near-term goal of this undertaking is, in fact, the Completed First Draft. It's the name of the game, the water under my raft, the wind beneath my wings (cue Bette Midler, then club her in the throat with a two-by-four before she finishes the first bar).

If I stop to think too much, I will overthink. I know this from vast personal experience. This is a first draft, not my Mona Lisa. The whole point is to get through a first pass so that I can then RE-write, not to get it all perfect the first time out.

In other words, speed is good. Speed is healthy. Speed is my bestest friend in the whole world, except for, you know, my actual friends. Spending a whole week on a single scene is not in the master plan.

But Scenezilla had other ideas. It repeatedly dodged my attempts to wrangle it, faking me out and laughing uproariously as I hit the dirt after an errant tackle attempt. It's not even that the scene is especially long; it's a little over 3500 words, which is not the longest scene yet written for this novel. It's just that it kept moving, it kept dodging, and it nearly kicked my ass, because it really did erode the momentum I had built up.

But last night, I finally put Scenezilla down. It is over, finito, it's-dead-Jim finished. I have come to the end of the "beginning" of the story, and now I can move on to the "middle."


I think I know why this scene took so long...


Anonymous said...

Congrats for taking down Scenezilla! I think he's visiting me though! As we were discussing on my blog, I'm finally sitting down to tackle the funeral scene for my character. Scenezilla is blocking my way for sure! HA! Seriously though, I'm glad that you made it through alive and can work on the middle of the first draft!

Leanne D. Baldwin said...

Damn! I had a feeling Scenezilla was faking death.

If you want to really frustrate him, hold up your phone and yell, "It's for you!" Scenezilla has really short arms, so while he's trying to figure out how to get the phone to his head, you can hurry up and write your scene.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant!! I'll let you know how that works ;-)

Jo Eberhardt said...

You two are hilarious. :)

Congrats on getting Scenezilla sorted. I've had his little brother blocking me for the better part of the week while I've been trying to write the "inciting incident" scene. Finally got it done today as well. Whew.

Let's open a bottle of champagne!

Leanne D. Baldwin said...

Absolutely! Glad to hear you've bested your Scenezilla, too.

Now, I have to start writing the "middle." Hold me.