Sometimes I’m afraid I’m boring.  I have to get a character from point A to point B and I just pound it out.  Then I read it and yawn.  So I begin the agonizing that’s so much a part of my writing (see, if I enjoyed it all the time, I’d quit my day job and I have bills to pay.  It’s better to keep me tortured).  I keep a notebook next to the couch.  I write point A at the top of the page and point B at the bottom.  In the middle I think of as many ridiculous things as I possibly can and list them.  I do this while watching television.  Inevitably, one of them strikes me as the one.  For instance:

Arienne Cerasola (my main character) needs to find clues about where someone has gone.  She breaks into his house to do it.  She can’t break in and not get caught – that would be too easy.  So someone has to catch her.  I chose the person (the father of the one she’s looking for) and listed that on the bottom of the page.

Here’s the middle:

  1. She falls through the window and lands on him
  2. He’s in the bathtub when she falls in
  3. He hears her climbing through the window and knocks her on the head
  4. He hears her and knocks her on the head with a frozen turkey breast
  5. He shoots her
  6. He shoots her with a water gun
  7. He shoots her with a water cannon that’s loaded with a memory charm
  8. He shoots her, the water cannon has a truth charm that’s somewhat defective
  9. She gets in, but hears him in the house and hides under an invisibilty spell
  10. She sets off the security alarm when she breaks in
  11. She falls through the window and gets tangled in an electric cord
  12. While she’s hiding under an invisibility spell, he’s in the room waiting for her to break the spell
  13. While she’s hiding and he’s waiting someone else breaks in

If I don’t get anything I like, I put it away and try it the next night.  This time, the most ridiculous option was number 8.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

 

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