Stuck in a Scene

Have you ever started something, estimated how long it would take (a hour or so) and realized later that you’d been working on it for over a week? I walked into this scene in my novel with a clear idea of who, where, when, what, and even why…Jamie in the police department the next day interrogates a suspect in the shooting that opened the novel and gets a message from his CO that sends him off to City Hall so he can a) get a little forward momentum on both cases and b) have the real job and the undercover one intersect briefly. But writing the scene in the interrogation room has been slow, slow, slow. I put a place holder in (literally “They have an exchange”) and jumped ahead…and have come back, and back, and back. Is it because I, like Jamie, have come to rely on Coal, his brash and shady partner to move the action forward? I do think Jamie’s got some changin’ to do over the course of this novel. His partner and his love interest can’t be the impetus for the action any more.

If I say I’m going to finish this scene by the end of the morning, am I kidding myself?

What do you do when you’re stuck in an endless scene?

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5 Responses to Stuck in a Scene

  1. Rebekah says:

    I haven’t written anything like what you are writing, but in other situations I have found when I am stuck or it just isn’t coming together right, if I walk away from it for a while and focus on something else entirely, a resolution will often flash out at me from the blue when I least expect it.

    • You’re absolutely right. That’s why I carry a notebook around to playgroup, Ben’s karate, even Sunday School…just in case the resolution flashes out. Need to make a note before I forget it.

  2. I usually have one character attack another. That gets the ball rolling. ^_^ Or I skip it and go eat some cereal.

  3. I completely understand where you’re coming from Sarah. Sometimes you have to push through and pull something out of air. I think you have to find what works for you. Think on what Jamie’s motivations are. What is he trying to accomplish? What will happen to drive him to the end result of this scene? How does he feel about what drives him there? I think if you focus on the details, the rest should come to you. I hope this helps and good luck!!!

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