Thursday, April 07, 2011

Brain Zags

It seems that nightmares about working in a grocery store deli weren't as motivating as I thought. I got next to nothing done yesterday. But I don't think motivation was my problem. My brain decided to zag instead of zigging (or maybe it zigged instead of zagging), and it took a while for me to catch up. They may say that success (or genius) is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration, but if you go for the perspiration without the inspiration part, you'll just end up running in circles.

This whole section of the book is based on the idea that they absolutely must stop X from happening because that would be really bad. I've managed to make it very difficult for my characters to stop X from happening because easy is boring. But that means I've been straining my brain trying to come up with ways they can stop X from happening, and it was starting to feel repetitive. It was like the bad guys try this, the heroes stop them, the bad guys try that, the heroes stop them. And then the good guys try this preventative measure that works until the bad guys try something else.

And then while I was brainstorming new things to try, my brain said, "Why not just let X happen?" At first, I protested. After all, that's what all this is supposed to be about, stopping X. It would be like getting almost to the end of Star Wars and saying, "Why not just let the Death Star destroy the moon where the rebel base is?" But then as I thought about it, I started realizing that it would actually make things more interesting. It wasn't so much "let the Death Star destroy the moon where the base is" as it was "let the Death Star track them as they flee to the rebel base," since hiding the location of the rebel base had been what Princess Leia had been trying to do through much of the story. She resisted torture without spilling the location, and yet they ended up leading the Death Star right there when they freed her. But the movie would have had a less exciting ending if they hadn't had the ticking clock of the approaching Death Star to force them to find a way to destroy it -- fast.

So then, once my perspective shifted, I started seeing all the possibilities, but I still had to re-plot this section. I'm not entirely sure when X should happen, but I think that will depend on how long making X happen and then dealing with the consequences and then possibly later undoing the damage ends up taking. I may end up having to cut some of the "the bad guys try this, the heroes stop them" iterations earlier.

Now that I've worked most of this out, today should be productive. No "ack! A real job!" nightmares last night. I just somehow managed to dream about the A Game of Thrones miniseries, in spite of not having read the books or even seen the trailers. I managed to create a dream out of a couple of photos in a magazine. Oh, and the Jonas Brothers were in it, which I think was triggered by a comic strip joke I read yesterday. I'm not entirely sure what they all look like, since my exposure is limited to the one who failed miserably in Les Miserables and the occasional Disney Channel promo during Phineas and Ferb, but that's who my brain thought they were in the dream, and I find the idea of them being in a nightmare about a gritty and somewhat twisted fantasy series to be rather ridiculously hilarious. They were so very out of place. Now I kind of want to write a story in which a made-for-TV boy band gets transported into a gritty and twisted fantasy world where they have no power over tween girls and don't know how to cope.

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