Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Scenes That Refuse To Be Written: Writer's Block or Lack of Focus?

My mind's astounding ability to be recalcitrant and adamantly refuse to focus is what makes a scene "difficult to write." I've yet to encounter a scene that's "too emotional" or "too...too" to put into words. I've written scenes that made me cry--which I consider a good thing. If they don't provoke an emotional response from me, the creator of the characters and world, I can't expect the reader to care nearly as much, right? I've written such detailed fight scenes that I've acted out the staging to ensure plausibility. Do the readers care as much as I do that it's left foot forward, right shoulder back? Possibly not. Didn't stop me from spending a lot of creative time penning that scene.

Are there scenes that didn't turn out the way I'd thought they would? Oh sure. Are there scenes that didn't come remotely close to what the outline said they should? ~slaps knee~ Oh, so very many. Are there scenes that ripped out my heart that exist only in a Cut Scenes file? Ayup.

Now, what do I do when my mind says, "Yeah, no, no we're not holding a steady train of thought today"?  Oh, dear reader, I wish I had some glib sure-fire solution. I wish I could say those No Words days only lasted a day or two. I don't classify those days as "writer's block," because I know what should happen in that scene. I'm not creatively stumped, I'm unable to focus. Different problems.

Writer's block is akin to having no pulse from your creativity feed. Solution? Immerse yourself in the creativity of others. Let their spark be your jolt. Let their imaginations be the yeast that helps yours grow. Rest. Let that yeast ferment, let your creativity proof, rise. Pretty soon the story is ready to bake. No guilt. No time wasted. It's all part of the process.

Lack of focus? Gah! It's opening the doc, staring at the chapter header and knowing that the opening paragraph is setting the scene...yet envisioning the setting opens all thirteen-hundred tabs in your mental browser and now you're wondering if you should be planting the wildflower seeds or if you've properly calculated the time and budget for Universal Design modifications on the off chance your aging parents will need to relocate and if you release four books a year you might be able to get to that series about those characters that have that thing but... By the time you shut down all the extraneous tabs, you've blown through your day, your eyes are barely open, and the cursor is still flashing after the chapter header. That...that is my challenge, dear reader. I don't know the answer. Meditation? Discipline? Mindfulness? Uh. For some, maybe? But, if you too suffer from Squirrel!, you're not alone. It just takes us a little longer to get to The End.

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