I’m sure you must be jumping to conclusions about this ominous title. You can breathe easy, guys, I’m not about to talk about vices or crimes.
Let me give you some context. I have been waging my NaNoWriMo war this month, with more-than-required lulls. I have questioned my sanity, my decisions, my pride, and my pen, with no conclusive results. All of them told me, “Just stop grumbling around and go write! That’s the only thing you can do.”
(Suspiciously, all of them sounded like my bestie Ishu, and I don’t know what to do with that.)
So… you get some clues on my train of thought with this post? This is going to be about bad guys on writing. I do not mean antagonists. There’s this whole bunch of bad guys who are intermediate. I mean, for the reader, they don’t really matter. They could be someone who is mean to the protagonist, or a batty old lady who waves her off her precious lawn, or a cat who gives the hero a scratch when he disturbed her peaceful sleeping. So, you read the scene, and don’t think twice about the bad guy.
But enter the writer at this point of the story.
(I can only vouch for myself, and my conscience hurts bad with anyone hurting my precious babes, the protagonists.)
I am just lost when I put in one of these bad guys. My method is a simple one in general.
- I have my plot outline.
- I start at some point in the timeline which seems right to me.
- I spend an evening cooking up a few scenes in my head.
- I spend the next few days putting them into words.
- I write and I write and I write.
It’s a pleasant scene, he’s walking down the street, watching the birds, etc etc. I think ahead to the point where the guy is going to run into the obnoxious man who hates him with no reason.
My pen stills. Or my typing fingers grow heavy. I don’t want him to run into that path. I wildly try to make the guy take a turn-off which leads him to the softly strewn beach sand. I push in an ice-cream cart, with Ron Weasley ringing the bell. I make all sorts of excuses and go into my reflection mode, and basically, stop writing.
(You might expect the same with the antagonists, but, you see, antagonists bring out the brave warrior and the headstrong challenger in the protagonists, which is all very pleasant and hence I look forward to their entry.)
These guys are the bane of my existence as a writer. This is what they do.
- They stop me suddenly out of the blue before they are even cued to enter.
- They freak me out and force sudden plot twists.
- They daunt me more than the antagonists.
- They unconsciously make the hero stumble and the heroine tremble.
And the worst thing they do, they stun my mind, and stop further imagination. They put me off writing for days and I binge eat like an idiot.
That’s why I thought some writing is better than no writing at all and I landed here to vent out my frustrations. I hope this rant will put me right back onto my novel and I feel better soon.
Does anyone else feel the same way? Let me know in the comments!
Love, and lots of frustration, (which I don’t wish on you!)
PS : I know I could just change the character of the obnoxious guy, but I’ve firmly pictured him like that.
PPS : I know I could drop him out, but repeatedly doing so is going to make a Mary Sue or a Gary Stu out of my protagonists, and I will NOT have that happen to them.