Sunday, January 5, 2014

Staying Focused on the Important Parts of the Story

I've been struggling to write two simple scenes for the past few weeks, having to do with the Elefdar sacred day called the Long Night. They weren't supposed to be anything particularly complex or difficult, but I just had a case of writer's block that I could not get around. It was like any time I tried to even think about what would happen in the scene, I came up blank.

So yesterday, I was re-reading what small fragments I had written thus far, as well as the immediate context of the scenes before and after, and I realized something very simple: these two scenes, taken separately or together, do not really contribute to the story. They do not advance the plot. They do not develop any of the main characters. At best, they might provide a glimpse of Elefdar history and culture - but this is not a story about the Elefdar, it is a story about a young Man.

And so, after struggling for all this time and having very little to show for it, I wrote two brief paragraphs summarizing the events of those two scenes, and that was that. The previous and following scenes are now effectively linked by these paragraphs, the story has progressed, and the plot remains focused on Balfrith rather than getting bogged down in a cultural study of the Elefdar.

Huzzah!

Alas, I have several more additional scenes that I still need to write, and I doubt that I will discover such an easy "out" for them. But, progress is progress, and since the remaining few scenes do in fact advance the story, develop a major character, or both, they should be much easier for me to write... I hope.