Sunday, August 20, 2006

Writer's Block, Mike Myers and the FBI

Now that's a good title. You have no idea where I'm going with this...

I wouldn't say I have writer's block. I have...the 5th Chapter What the ?@*! am I writing about melt down. It always takes me about a week of surfing the net and doing laundry instead of writing to diagnose this problem - you'd think at this point I'd catch on to my own neurotic writing behavior. But no - and yesterday I just figured it out. I'm in the middle of Chapter 5 and I have NO CLUE where I am going. I've been selling on proposal for awhile now, so the first three chapters I've got figured out, but the end of chapter three is a serious cliff. Working on Chapter 4 I'm like Wile E. Coyote - unaware the ground is no longer beneath my feet. But by the middle of chapter five - I've pulled out my sign that says "Yikes" and I'm basically free-falling into crap.

My current WIP is about an undercover FBI agent - I have no idea why I decided to do this. 1. I no nothing about the FBI except from what I learned from Donnie Brasco and 2. I HATE research.

So, I've been puttering around on this WIP thinking that a few episodes of CSI or NYPD Blue might just be all I need. I know the lies we tell ourselves...

But as I figured out that I'm stuck in my Chapter 5 nightmare - I also remembered something I heard Mike Myers say on Inside the Actor's Studio. Now, I used to love Inside The Actor's Studio - every once in a while I would get some real gold on storytelling from the guests. Kevin Costner's was great for that (another reason why I'm always so compelled to defend him). Another great place to get storytelling gold, I have found, is on the commentaries of my favorite movies. Especially, Fight Club, Good Will Hunting and seriously - Field of Dreams - what the Director says about the scenes he cut out of the film is a master class in good editing. I digress...

Anyway Mike Myers said that he does all of his prewriting work - plotting of the movies etc... in the bathtub. And that those days when he is able to sit there and get things figured out are islands. Islands in a general sea of creative dispair. I KNOW we can all releate to that. And then he said he reads a lot of books. For research, for craft, for ideas etc. And those books are bridges to the islands.

Smart.

So...today I ordered some books on the FBI. And a couple more on subjects that interest me but I know nothing about. Because, I never know when I might want to write a romance novel with para-military dolphin trainer hero.

6 comments:

Susan D said...

Okay, I'm panting to read the one about the para-military dolphin trainer hero.

Maureen McGowan said...

Molly... Damn you. Your great post has given me writers block for my next post.

Christine said...

I hear what you're saying about chapter 4 and 5. I find if I can survive those two chapters, the rest of the book flies. Because I write erotica, I have been putting two major love scenes in each of those chapters and then have the "plot" continue in chapter 6. Then if I need to go back and edit later I can, but it doesn't matter because I've made it past my block. :)

Margaret Moore said...

I just blogged about what to do when the muse has left a building myself. Is there something in the air?

Margaret Moore said...

Well, duh -- that would be when the muse has left "the" building, not "a" building, as if we're talking a bank or something. Sigh.

Sinead M said...

For me it's half way through the book, and I'm trying to figure out why the plot, I'd thought was crystal clear, is now a fuzzy mess...

Can you tell I'm there now..

Great post, Molly.

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