Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tuesday's Call

Yes, it is Tuesday again. Tuesday - writing day - even if I hope every day is writing day - definitely Tuesday is. So...the plan for today is to finish working those chapters I had checked and I think I would like to add a bit more. I think I could add about five or six thousand by Thursday rather easily. Then it will wing its way to a second reader and I'll await its return.

I am still caught in the dream of this narrative which is where I want to be - I think of it constantly and wonder about certain aspects - choices I made. I was thinking on Sunday when we were walking towards Muskrat Falls, about a choice I had one of the protagonists make which I didn't realize would make as much sense as it does ultimately. Like our own unconscious (which I suppose it is!) my character had made a choice that would ultimately create an inevitability required in the plot. This was a choice she doesn't need to make and it is against her stated interests but still she makes it. This is hard to describe without describing the scene which I don't care to do but I wonder if other writers have noticed that they have instinctively done what is necessary without being aware of it?

I'll try and give another example shall I? Let's say you are writing about a young married couple that is experiencing difficulties - say they are poor and the poorness is taking its toll on their feelings for each other.

Wait a minute - I just looked out the window to see a rather roundish woman walking her dog down the beach and as she walks she is punching the air! I just had to tell you. 

Back to the story - so the man gets a call about a job that he has applied for but is unsure of. It is a bit sketchy say and he normally wouldn't want it but they are desperate. So he turns to his wife who is contemplating the bare cupboard and says -"should I take this job?" and (you, the writer just write it down you don't consider what will happen next if you are me) she says - "no. I had a dream that we would find another way to survive last night. It was my dead Aunt Bea. She came to me and told me if I was careful and righteous all would be fine."

He groans and says - oh for Pete's sake but he turns down the job. So you don't know what happens next since you just write it as you go and the wife is bemoaning her stupid dream and the fella is turning out his pockets when a young kid comes to their apartment door and says - "Mister - my sister is awful sick and I don't know what to do - my mum is at work and I'm scared." The man, of course, goes with the kid and all sorts of things too complicated to go into (plus I have no idea) go on.

Now I'm stuck - I don't need to be writing another dumb story. The point I was trying to make was that in terms of your plot it turns out - without you knowing it at the time - that it was essential that the wife choose. If she hadn't been the one then the ending of the story wouldn't satisfy anyone.

Darn - now I have this whole other plot in my mind. Gah! Maybe I will just write a bit on it for the BuNoWriMo that I feel quite bad about not being involved in. Just a little. Say I write a short story in June. I'm no good at that but I could make that my goal while I'm doing everything else including going back to Nova Scotia. Yep.

Writing day! It grabs you. Here is a shrine to Joseph we found at Muskrat Falls. These are many places along the highway, usually where someone has died. A number of years ago a group of kids from the college went out to Muskrat Falls to celebrate graduating. They got into a boat tied up river from the falls and that was that. They went over the falls and all died. So sad. This might be a shrine for them - not sure. It was more than likely put up by an Innu.


1 comment:

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - I understand exactly what you mean about trying to work out where a plot will take you. It's so easy to get distracted by all of the other shiny ideas. I think that's where channeling energy comes in. I haven't completely mastered it myself, but it's there...