It’s funny how the things we put off and save for later can end up being the things that inspire the stuff we have to do now.
When I write a rough draft, I leave blank places. Josh can attest to this, since an early draft he read a few years ago simply had “___________” where the names of some secondary characters would go. He had lots of fun filling them in with names like “Mr. Poopy-Pants” and “Stupidhead”.
95% of the story is present and accounted for when I do this, it’s just where there might be some tiny holes in the plot or where I’d like to insert some foreshadowing but I’m not sure exactly what I’d like to foreshadow quite yet. Or, honestly, I just don’t feel like writing that bit right then: if I’m happy, it’s hard to write sad, and vice versa. And sometimes if I do, I’ll end up rewriting it later because it was forced anyway. So I follow my gut, and skip when I’m not truly not feeling it.
I’ve been plodding ahead as usual this month, leaving my usual notes: [DREAM GOES HERE] and the like. I’d just sat down for a fresh session when I saw a similar notation — [BAD GUY UPDATE] — above the six lines of the newest scene. I’d really intended on saving him for later, since I’ve been trying to sharpen my characters recently. I’ve been feeling a little lost, and they’ve been feeling a little hollow — like I can’t pin down their motivation.
In an act that was purely procrastinational, I dived into that note. In a page and a half, I remembered what an bad guy this man truly was and what my protagonists were up against. Why they couldn’t win, but had to anyway.
And I don’t feel lost anymore.