14 April 2010

The Best Laid Plans...

So... Monday I woke up, got ready for work, and was happy to notice I was early. But not long after leaving my apartment, I got stuck in a standstill. It was very ironic, because I've thought several times that if there was ever an accident on that very road, I'd be stuck. The only way to get from the office to my apartment involves crossing a very cool bridge using a two lane road. Something happened with a tractor trailer before I reached the bridge- I'm not quite sure what- and instead of directing traffic around it, my lane didn't move at all.

While we watched hundreds of cars drive past.

And of course, I had a major appointment that morning, set for an hour after I was supposed to be in the office.

I sat there for a long time. I called everyone one I knew. We looked at maps, iphone applications, etc. Nothing. I was stuck.

Kind of like where I am in my story.

So, eventually they towed the semi and I was able to move. I arrived at the office at 9:45--just in time to turn on my computer and leave.

But I thought a lot about what happened all day. The entire time I was stuck, my mind raced with possibilities, alternate routes, scenarios. I started thinking about characters and how it's so easy to throw a wrench into their plans. How the simplest thing can create a million possibilities.

I didn't really come to any conclusions. Other than that I really need to learn another way to the office. Either that, or learn how to teleport.

Needless to say, the next time I sit down to write, I'm definitely going to find the wrench for my characters' best laid plans. I think it'll be a lot more fun than being stuck in traffic. :0)

See y'all Friday!

24 comments:

  1. We do like to torture our characters, don't we? :)

    I think....you're in Atlanta? I drove through on my way to Alabama last week and came to a complete stop--as usual. Arghhhh!

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  2. I always think it's good to throw in a wrench! Things can get predictable in our stories when we don't do that. :-)

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  3. I think we forget sometimes to just keep making it worse! But readers love that! I know i do.

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  4. The best thing about fiction is our stories can pull out a Jetsons flying machine and zip us through that "stuck-ness". ;)

    Why don't we have those machines yet?
    ~ Wendy

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  5. Aren't traffic jams the worst!? But I really like how you've related this to our writing! When I'm in a traffic jam in my story, I really try to think of the goal of what I'm hoping to accomplish next in the story or scene. And often I try to think of how I can make things worse for my characters. Usually that gets my engine going!

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  6. Being struck is the most frustrating thing for me and my characters. We seem to shut down in the worst kind of way.

    Thanks for the reminder that a simple wrench can do wonders for creating new scenerios.

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  7. Wouldn't teleporting be awesome?! I hate traffic. And I'm totally stuck in my WIP too. *sigh*

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  8. Great analogy, Kristen! I'm experiencing a writer's traffic jam this morning, and you've just given me needed insight. I think I'll take a walk and give my mind space to dream up new possibilities rather than fretting and stewing. When I come home, I just may have the wrench I need figured out. :)

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  9. Great analogy. I hate when I'm stuck. I'll remember the wrench.

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  10. Hi Kristen -

    Being stuck in a traffic jam is nerve wracking. I always try to find at least one alternate route to work.

    My main character in the latest manuscript is about to have a giant wrench thrown at her. She's a Type A, "I've-got-my-life-figured-out-for-the-next-ten-years" kind of girl.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  11. A wrench is a good thing:) At least you used your time wisely!

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  12. Teleport? Hahaha! Too funny. Well Happy Writing and Best Wishes on finding a new way to the office. :o)

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  13. You are SO good at analogies!!

    And being stuck in traffic is the WORST!

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  14. What a great analogy?!! I used to steam up over delays but really try to relax and just prayyyy!

    Patti

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  15. Hope your Wip gets unstuck! And the only good thing about traffic jams is it gives us writers free time to think about our stories :))

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  16. Your blog is so cute!!! I love that you incorporated traffic jams to writing boy oh boy do I need something to think about when I stuck in traffic. Sometimes sticking a wrench in one's plans is exactly what's needed!!

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  17. I vote teleport! (And really, that might be the answer to being stuck in writing too--teleport to the next scene and write the current one later.) Hee, hee.

    And I loved this story--it tells so much about your sweet personality.

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  18. I'm with you! I'm throwing a major wrench at my MC tonight. She wont like me when I'm through. ;)

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  19. Traffic jams are a great time to think -- especially if we can get past the angst ;)

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  20. I like that teleport idea...☺ love this post Kristian b/c I can so relate. Have an awesome week. Hey...stay out of traffic jams...

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  21. I feel for you. I can't stand being stuck in traffic! Or being late!

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  22. Way to use the time productively! Hope you find that alternate route.

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  23. It's those unexpected road blocks that cause distress, and a good story. Happy wrench-throwing!

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  24. I love how you turn life's wrenches into writing lessons. :-)

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