Friday, December 21, 2007

Pushed Past the Block

For a night, at least. I've been struggling to get back into a groove with revisions even though I've mapped out a whole bunch of things that will guide me through to the last page. Every time I sat down to hack and slash my way through the draft, I would look at the first line in the next scene I had to tackle and freeze, if it was during Drew's nap. Or my brain would decide that was a good time to liquefy if it was at night. The mushy brain happened three nights in a row, which really pissed me off. What is mushy brain? Well, usually, when I prod some higher thought processes from my brain, I have a mental conversation that goes roughly like this:

ME: Ping.

MY BRAIN: Currently left on your to do list for the day: clean up table, wash dishes, tidy Drew's toys, sit at desk and work on revisions. The scene you'll work on first involves the first turning point for your protagonist, so you want to make sure you tighten the conflict and connect better it with her decision that propells her into a new direction for Act 2, and in Act 2, you've made the supporting characters a bit too cooperative with that new direction, so you'll have to work on that as those scenes come at you. Also, you're feeling a bit chilly in general this evening, so be sure to grab your fuzzy slippers when you put on your pajamas.

What a lovely response to my ping. A quick rundown of things that some part of my brain is always monitoring and tracking so the rest of it doesn't have to. Now, when I have mushy brain, the conversation goes a little like this:

ME: Ping.

MY BRAIN: Uh, wha? Is dinner done already? Did we eat meatloaf or chicken soup? Soup is yummy, and warm, and tasty, and...

ME: Ping!

MY BRAIN: Oh, right. Dinner is done. Um. Dishes? No, table looks to be cleared. How the hell did that happen? Maybe Mark did it? Is he putting Drew to bed, or are they in the shower? You need a shower too, get all warm. Use that Winter Candy Apple body wash and lotion and...


MY BRAIN:...and after you smell all clean and Christmas-y, there's that dungeon chapter in Final Fantasy X-2 that you want to beat, level up all those dresspheres, though maybe you should just start all over from the beginning because that's a fun story, especially when you get to the chasing Chocobos part. Was there a better ending than the one you saw?


MY BRAIN: OK. Revisions. There's a scene that needs some work.

Long Pause.

ME: Ping?

MY BRAIN: You know, that scene. You should fix it. Make it tie in with the rest of the arc better.

Another Long Pause.

ME: Ping.

MY BRAIN: What are you bothering me for? You're the one who figured a few things out this afternoon. Didn't you write them down?

ME: Ping!

MY BRAIN: Come on! It was the thing with the arc with the conflict. You know, and then the love interest said the bit that tied into the first scene. And it all comes together and viola! A complete, fabulous revision!


MY BRAIN: Isn't that what you wanted?

ME: ...

MY BRAIN: Maybe you should just curl up in bed and put on a Firefly episode. Oooh! Maybe the one where Simon takes his shirt off?

But, finally, last night, I conquered this loop. For one scene. Now I'm going to tackle the revisions again, and hopefully I can carry on with the momentum from last night. At any rate, it feels good not to be stuck in the same place.

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