Thursday, 10 February 2011

It just flows


Isn't it strange how writing can be such a struggle at certain points in the story, and how some scenes just flow through the fingers to the page or screen?

This happened to me today. I'm struggling because my hero is trying to dodge battles and an enemy, and I couldn't figure out a straight line among the reports I'd read. Different people alive at the time quote different dates for a battle; some say 16th March, others the 26th, a third quotes 28th. Then one claims the 16th is Tuesday, while another blithely says the 26th is Sunday, which can't be right if the first date is correct. Other things are happening at around the same time, and trying to work out who went where and how that affected the outcome is tricky.
I staggered to the end of the section and sent my hero off on his trusty steed towards Glasgow. He's tired, the night is damp and misty and in the distance he spies a fuzzy light that gradually sharpens into the bright, lit window of an inn. He goes inside, is seduced by the warmth, food and drink and gradually falls into a stupor by the hearth. His last thought is that no one can steal his secret letters because the satchel is strapped to his thigh.

All this went easily onto the page, and I swear I hadn't considered a tavern scene at all. Now I have what I think is a lovely scene, and the choice of having Matho suffer the loss of his secret letters, or get away with making a horrendous mistake. Oh, choices, choices!

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