Sometimes I progress faster when doing nothing at all.
Well, by nothing, I mean sitting and staring out the window while thinking about the plot and how I can make it richer. Any of you who have ever lived with a writer will recognize the suddenly dreamy, absent-minded look that steals over our faces.
Note: don’t even bother trying to talk to us–we’re in the zone.
So the other morning I’m staring out the window, coffee cup in hand, enjoying the crisp morning air when wham! All of a sudden, a brilliant character twist clicked into place and I almost smack myself on the forehead because it’s just so logical.
Of course, it all makes sense now. The only reason why one of my characters would do X is because he’s Russian, Lenin just toppled the Russian monarchy in favor of a communist government, and now all the western governments are in a tizzy. No one wants a newly emigrated Russian hanging around. What if he was a secret Bolshevik looking to topple the American government?
But let’s make it even more difficult for our character. He’s not just Russian, he’s Jewish–a refugee from the senseless, Tsarist peasant war-fodder conscriptions and Cossack pogroms. However, he’s now struggling to find work because he’s Russian and no one in the small American town where he lives, likes Jews. How else can he make a living but to take on the tasks others won’t?
Ah, now we’re talking. So with that realization in hand, I sat down and pounded out my prologue from start to finish this morning.
Tomorrow, I’ll start working over my main character. Now that’s someone else in need of an upgrade.