For this, my 200th post, I have a very important announcement to make: I chickened out. I finished the one-pass rewrite of the Chapter formerly known as 13 of Meet the Larssons today (on the train). Attentive readers may recall that I said that finishing the rewrite of Chapter 13 (as it used to be called, before I cut the first several chapters) would be difficult because my main character was going to have a date, he was going to take a lady in whom he is romantically interested and go out for a fancy dinner. This would be a difficult scene for me to write because the Green Eyed Siren and I have children, and while we occasionally go out for parties and other social obligations, I cannot remember the last time we simply went out to dinner.
I know that you’re thinking that I must have tremendous creative powers to write this kind of scene with so little recent experience on which to base it. Unfortunately, my creative powers provied just slightly less tremendous than needed. However, it occurred to me as I wrote the scene immediately before the date scene that it would be better for the plot — and for my MC, who was feeling a little too good about himself — if the lady in question were to cancel dinner. Not permanently, and not out of any ill will toward my MC, but dinner is definitely off.
I had discovered a way out. I may have the female lead cancel dinner three or four more times during this rewrite, because it’s more useful to the plot and it saves me from having to figure out what the hell they’d talk about over the bread sticks.
So I’m a big chicken. There you go. But Chapter not-13 is so totally done done donnity done, so I don’t care. Up next: Chapter soon-to-be-something-other-than 14!
Is it really cheating if it furthers the plot? :D I’d say it gives you an opportunity to work in some field research, actually.
As a mom of four busy boys myself, I completely understand being at a loss for scenes like that….I think the last time the DH and I went on a dinner date was *thinks* oh yeah. 2006.
I think maybe I need to schedule some time to research that topic myself! LOL
I was also going to suggest you research this “dinner date” idea. I’ll be glad to watch the children (if you want to swing by Virginia on your way to the restaurant) while you and the GES act out the scene.
It might be time for some work-related research. :-)
But I’m not sure I’d consider it cheating if, as Jen says, it furthers the plot – and if it makes your MC miserable. That’s always a step in the right direction, isn’t it?
I have a writer/estate research question for you, if its not inappropriate. If not, I’ll email or FB message you. I have a character with a dead parent and I’m wondering about time lines in terms of will readings and probate, etc.
All: okay, okay, I’ll take her out to dinner. I guess a lady needs to get out of the house once in a while without screaming kids in the back seat.
Freshhell: Any time. Happy to help. Straight email or FB.
What kind of writer cannot produce a couple of pages of conversation over dinner between a man and a woman he likes? It’s not sex and it’s not death, so think hard and try not to chicken out like that again.
Thanks for the encouragement, Mom.
In his defense, keep in mind that he hasn’t been on an actual date since high school. He never actually asked me out during freshman year of college.
If you think about it, this is much like how he would be unable to call upon experience to write a successful proposal scene, since the only time he asked me to marry him I said, “Absolutely not.” Funny that we’ve been married for 13 years now.
That’s why my next book is going to be about high school students in the 1980s.
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