Visual Writing (Igloo Cooler)

An interesting night of writing. I hit that fever pitch I talked about yesterday. In fact, I hit it so dead-on that I finished the chapter.

It was only yesterday I was thinking that I wouldn’t be able to sustain the dialogue of a psychological duel for an entire chapter, and I was planning on bringing an absent character back so I could include the next big scene in the same chapter. But I found the pitch I wanted and hit it, and I brought it off to a point that my writer’s sense told me that this was the point at which to end the chapter. It’s a little shorter than the others at 25 pages, but the chapters will likely run long toward the end of the book. I’m not married to 30 page chapters. That’s just how this book is working out.

Something else of note. I was writing against one of those situations where I knew I had to hit a certain intensity (the fever pitch in this case), but I had no idea how I was going to resolve the scene short of female-ex-machina (having her show up to completely change the situation’s dynamic). Fortunately, I got on a roll, and at some point I instinctively knew that if I did something like that, I would be wussing out. I knew that the scene started with these charaters talking, and it had to end that way. The situation had to be resolved before the woman came back.

Well, it worked out. And I owe it all to a stray Igloo Cooler.

As I said, I am a visual writer. I can see the scene unfold in my head, and as it does, I try and get it accurately into the word processor. Tonight I was so into what was happening that I had my character look around for a way out of a situation, and what does he see but an Igloo Cooler. In a blind rage, he grabs it and uses it as a weapon.

It made perfect sense. The woman had bought one the chapter before, and it had gotten kicked across the motel room by the character my protagonist is having the psychological battle of wits with. At that point it was simply a minor detail that I used simply to enhance the description of the violence of a struggle that had taken place. I had no intention of returning to that cooler other than in the next chapter, where it would leave the motel with Richard and his female friend.

Until that headspinning moment when I was looking around the room in my character’s anger… and what do I see…

It turned out to be perfect. It was ridiculous but effective, and in the process of being those two things, I think it was also believable in its purpose. And it helped bring about the resolution of the situation I needed.

So the struggle ended before the woman came back. And when she does, in the final paragraphs of the chapter, it’s only as a comic capstone to the struggle that has just taken place.

Writer’s serendipity. I love it. Evenings like this make it feel like I actually know what I’m doing.

Today’s Scorecard:

Chapter: 8
Page: 250 (+12)
Words: 58431 (+2530)

NP – Marillion, Clutching At Straws


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