Is Knowing the Problem Really the First Step to a Solution? (#SFWApro)

If so, this was a good week for Southern Discomfort. Not a great week. I’m up to 69,000 words and I’d hoped to be a little further. But as I expected, the two days off this week put the kibosh on that idea. But sitting and planning I finally figured out why the ending of the last draft didn’t click.

Trying to figure out how the last 15,000 or so words should go, I took a look at Lester Dent’s standard outline to see if that gave me any ideas. Two things jumped out at me. One, that “Action must do more than advance the hero over the scenery.” The other, that in the last quarter, “Difficulties increase.
The hero is almost buried in his trouble.”

Not that Dent’s advice is any kind of rule (as I say at the link, his outline is useful if it helps you write better stories, nothing more), but I think those lines capture my problem. Most of my cast are just advancing over the scenery, running through Pharisee or the Hither Country to reach the bad guy. I need more. Things are already bad (Maria facing life in prison or death at Gwalchmai’s hands, the town being sucked into Faerie, Joan Gwalchmai’s captive) but they need to build, if only by having some deadline that’s steadily approaching … Hopefully while I take this time off, my subconscious will work on that.

I didn’t get a Screen Rant done this week: I proposed an outline of items, but it hasn’t been approved (no surprise, I imagine everyone’s scurrying around Thanksgiving). And while I submitted a half-dozen articles for the new Leaf project, none of them have been approved (again, no surprise).

Thursday we had a blast attending Café Parizade’s vegan Thanksgiving event. It’s amazing food, all vegan: shepherd’s pie, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, apple-pecan stuffing, chocolate pudding, ginger cookies, mac and cheese, chocolate cupcakes, seitan … normally I overeat to the point of discomfort but this year I actually controlled myself. I ate, yes, but I took small enough portions of everything I wanted that I didn’t absolutely have to try anything else after I was stuffed. Regrettably the way the invitations are structured we don’t really get to hang with our other friends there (we did stop by tables on our way out though) but it’s still an awesome meal, very reasonably priced for the quality and quantity.

Today I did what I could to catch up on some of the little stuff I’ve been neglecting: cleaning, bills paying, and various minor tasks that haven’t been getting done lately. It was worth not getting any writing done to take a few of them off the to-do list.

To close out, here’s a post of the black-bottom praline pie I took to a potluck last weekend. Chocolatey bottom, sugary pecan top. After I made pralines for TYG for our anniversary, I went looking for a better recipe (the one I got off the Internet didn’t quite satisfy me) and found several other tempting choices.

As you can see, there wasn’t much left.

1 Comment

Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, Screen Rant, Southern Discomfort, Story Problems, Time management and goals

One response to “Is Knowing the Problem Really the First Step to a Solution? (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: The way ahead (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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