Brenda Cooper

Scribbles on Writing Process

The death of characters

I’m just gearing up to start writing the climactic scenes in my novel-in-progress, tentatitivley titled Mayan December. I noticed that I keep getting stuck in one of the viewpoints, which follows a current timeline that gets mixed in with a past one. My usual style is to write forward always, just noting the things I need to add or change in the work that I’ve already done. But I was sitting in a local Starbucks noodling on how to proceed yesterday, stuck again, and I grabbed my journal since I seemed unable to put useful words on the computer (I’d re-written the same paragraph three times, which is NOT like me).
So I started writing down where I kept having problems with this character’s life. It became clear that it was always in her interactions with two other people, and that I could write them out. That, in fact, I didn’t want to deal with them in the final scenes. All of the tension between her and and them feels like it’s hanging on the surface and made up. Injected by me, instead of being natural to her life. So now I’m gleefully looking fowrad to writing them out, and I’m planning on doing that before I write the final scenes, so that all of her real tensions are clearer, and she is more alone.
I printed out a whole copy of the manuscript (350 plus pages) and I’m reading it.
A nice side affect is that I’m finding some writing I’d forgotten and really like.
A new process – stopping before completely done and doing some of what I would usually do later. We’ll see how it works.
In the meantime, I’m quite looking forward to sending two characters into oblivion today!