Friday, April 18, 2008

Pulling an Elephant Through Mud

by G.Parker

If you've had children, you understand that trying to force them to do anything is much like pulling an elephant through mud. Sometimes it works -- eventually -- when everyone is frustrated, angry and the home no longer resembles anything harmonious.. .you get the picture.

This is also what it's like when you try to force a story to go where it doesn't want to. It's one of the causes for the sickness called "writer's block" and can sometimes be fatal to the sanity of a writer. Case in point? I have a story that I'm trying to finish. I keep trying to end the darn thing, but the characters keep wanting excitement. I guess they aren't ready for it to end yet. (One can hardly blame them, they're in beautiful Hawaii in the middle of the Polynesian Cultural Center.) Unfortunately, while they're having a grand time, I'm totally frustrated. I want it over. I want them on the plane back home, basking in the warmth of a vacation over, lives saved and friendships deepened.

They won't cooperate. I keep getting new plot lines running around in my head. I have a gun that I'm trying to figure out how to justify it's existence, and people who are refusing to just go away. I'm afraid I'm going to have to kill someone. I remember reading about JK Rowling and how she came out of her office one day, just bawling, "I've just killed off a character." (Or something to that effect.) I don't want to kill a main character, just a bad guy. Don't you think that would be simple? Sigh.

So, I'm trying to force my imagination to my will. Unfortunately, the mud seems to be getting deeper each day. It wouldn't matter so much if I weren't trying to meet a self-imposed deadline. I've still got another book that I'm trying to edit and get submitted!

I guess now would be a good time to ask myself why I want to be a writer. It doesn't take much to send me cringing -- just the thought of shutting off that side of my brain gives me chills. There are stories to be told, morals to be taught, and spirit to be felt. I like this If I don't do it, who's to say that my version will ever be told?

So, I'm going to get back to it. Force the plot to make itself known, kill off the bad guy and save the day with a 10 gallon cowboy hat on my hero's head. Hey -- he likes it. He's from Montana.

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