Every novel I have ever written has had sticky scenes in it – and no, (Anthony), I’m not talking about sweaty, hot, sexy ‘sticky’, I’m talking about the ones you start writing and then get caught on because they just don’t seem to be coming out right no matter how many times you delete and start again.
I think Sun-Touched has had three so far. Two of which I have managed to pass and the third one I am struggling with at the moment. ACK, it’s really killing me. I was only a couple hundred words into it when I became sure that I’d seriously stuffed it up. It was set to jump the tracks and be a real wreck. I still can’t finish it.
However, I know what has to happen in the scene. Okay, not the actions, exactly, but the combination of emotions and conflicts etc that need to be tapped into and explored. I know where it starts, and where it ends (roughly), I just don’t know the right words to put it on the page.
It’s been bugging me for days. Literally. I hit 59,000 words on Friday night and managed to write a mere 500 over the weekend. No matter how desperate I was to get to 60K, I couldn’t write words that I knew for a fact would be eradicated completely.
I’ve finally crossed that threshold, but the scene is still not right. I’ve written out several times what I need from it, but I still can’t find the words. I think I may have to delete it entirely and start fresh, because I can’t pinpoint the exact sentence where it all goes wrong.
Anyway… What do you do when you hit those sticky scenes? Do you rewrite it until it feels right? Do you tweak it until it will do the job for now? Or do you skip ahead and start writing the next scene, and come back to it after you’ve had a bit of space?
I’m strongly tempted by that last option, though something is telling me that I need to give the scene one more go before I move on. It’s study night, tonight. I think I’ll start a new document, stare that blank screen in the eyes and start over.
Wish me luck, because from here on out it’s a matter of threading together the last pieces and tying everything up. I’m close to the home stretch. I can FEEL the End looming and I really want to get there. I just have this sticky mess to get myself out of first…