Monday, May 26, 2008

Progress report and pain

I think it's been a fortnight or so since I last updated my little progress report, so stats for the past fortnight:

New words: 2000
Plotting The Woman in the Wall: 2000
Re-editing Maureen: 0
New novel research: 0

Yes, the new words and the plotting sections are the same 2000 words. It just makes me feel better to see it like that, OK? There's been much more going on in my head than has been going down on paper. I have a clear structure in my head of how the story continues and some scenes that just haven't made it on to the page yet. I will have to unravel the story that I have already written, too, which is a little offputting as I like it the way it is.

As far as the overall plot is concerned, I did have a bit of a block towards the end. However, on the weekend, while driving to Penrith I suddenly understood what the problem was. Whether I like it or not, this novel cannot have a happy ending. As a result, without knowing exactly what's going to happen, or how, I do know where Jac will be by the end and it's not good. I had no idea I was so reluctant to leave my characters in trouble. That's not to say that there may not be some hope on the horizon, but, on the other hand, there may not be. I think it was my inability to accept this that was causing the blockage.

So here's a question for you all. Do you have a hard time putting your characters through pain? Particularly if it's an unresolvable situation?

12 comments:

Whirlochre said...

I'm heartless — like an evil alien reptile.

pacatrue said...

By and large, yeah. I have one plot I've been thinking on, and I can't see it ending happily. It holds me back.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I have a hard time making my characters do things that are hurtful to others. In other words, making bad decisions.

Physical pain? Not so much, but I do keep it light.

Emotional pain? I put them through it all the time.

I guess I have a hard time having them dole out pain.

laughingwolf said...

instead of directing what i'd like to see, i allow things to happen to them, then watch their reactions

so far, they've come out stronger for the experiences

laughingwolf said...

turns out, i'm ravenclaw, myself....

Conduit said...

So, the Woman in the Wall is going to be a novel? Interesting...

Robin S. said...

I don't mind letting bad things happen to my characters - have to, really, for there to be a plot that isn't 'let's frou-frou through the daisies'. And sometimes, there are permanent bad things in my novel. Can't get any more permanent than death.

BUT - the central character - while injured and unable to forget or forgive some of it - makes it through- not fully and completely - but she makes it through. I needed that to make it worth taking is all through what happens.

Robin S. said...

PS - McK - what's the etiquette on linking?

I've thought about it- and since I made my blog un-Googlable for the time being - surely linking to people I like to make it simple to travel between blogs won't be that big a deal, will it?

I'm still feeling my way around.

McKoala said...

Yes, Conduit, it's turning into a novel. I've been playing around with it for three weeks or so and it just keeps growing. I'll have to rewrite/redistribute some of the start, but it looks like it's going to work.

Paca and LW, you sound like your kind of with me. Good point, Sarah. What I mean is emotional pain - or at least events that cause emotional pain. Robin, not all novels contain bad events (although I seem to write ones that do...); some contain challenging events, that aren't necessarily bad or sad, just...challenging. I did write one novel, the permanently in editing Maureen, that consisted largely of a series of catastrophic events affecting a single family. But those events shape the heroine in a way she could never have expected - they give her back her life. This time Jac's life is going to be pretty much taken away, or at least turned around, and then around again, and not so much in a good way.

Link away Robin. You're creating a network. Can I link to you? I haven't updated my links in forever.

WO, only you could know yourself so well.

Robin S. said...

Hey, McK.

Link away. I'll do the same later today when I get home from work.

Chumplet said...

I don't know about unresolvable, but I certainly do put my characters through pain - both emotional and physical.

I sent off your copy of The Space Between yesterday. I hope the shark tooth survives the trip - it was kinda sticking up beneath the bubble wrap.

ChrisEldin said...

McKoala, Are you still checking here?

This is such a great question, because when I first started writing, the best advice someone gave me was to let bad things happen to your characters. It shows their muster.

But, that being said, I'm a firm believer in the happy ending for the genre I write in. I've read lots of terrific middle-grade books that end on a sad note, but I somehow feel that childhood should be made of happy endings. That's my motto. Now, I have a YA that's been on the back burner, and the ending is dark. But you see, it remains on the back burner....