The Nuclear Option

I invoked the nuclear option to spice up my failing story before it died.

The other day I mentioned that I hated my current WIP (work-in-progress, for you non-writer-types). That night I decided to use the nuclear option.

In NaNoWriMo, they say if you’re bored with what you’re writing, you need to shake things up by adding an explosion, or killing everyone off. That’s what I’ve come to think of as the “nuclear option.”

So, I blew things up. An angry god descended and pulverized everything. He killed Lyeale, the mad old woman who was going to be an antagonist. He teleported Roduk, the brash young hero, back to his homeland, hundreds of miles away. And then he had the nerve to kidnap Emmie, the young woman who was on her way back to her family in the city. As if that weren’t enough, he took the crystal that the protagonists were there to find.

Now I might as well throw out the story outline I’d written, because I have no idea where to go from here. But you know what? It sure jump-started my interest in this story. Maybe this is the final judgment on whether I am more of a plotter or a pantser.

Not A Good Start

After a couple of weeks of brainstorming, I started writing on my new project. I hate it. It’s flat, lifeless, and dead.

Okay, this is not good.

After a couple of weeks of brainstorming, I started writing on my new project, tentatively code-named “Curses.” I’ve written perhaps 4,000 words, starting not at the beginning, but at the first sort of exciting milestone. I did this because I wasn’t really “feeling” it so I thought I would start at a “high point.”

I hate it. It’s not exciting. It’s not even interesting. The characters are dumb. The plot is moronic. It’s flat, lifeless, and dead.

This is the part where you’re supposed to say, “So what? Write it anyway! Real writers finish things no matter what.”

I’ll admit I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to be inspired–or at least mildly interested–when you start the writing. It’s only after 20k words or so that you run into that first brick wall of your own ineptitude.

I had this exact same problem with Tel, now that I think about it. I started twice before I got to a story that I liked.