One Stuck Writer


I wrote this a year an a half ago when I was starting on my first NanoWriMo effort. I imagined myself in the writing process and this was what I came up with that cold winter in China.
***
There had to be a way. I just knew it. The hero and the heroine couldn’t just go their separate ways. That wasn’t how the story goes. After all, if Cinderella hadn’t lost her slipper, the Prince would have still found his way to her, right? There had to be a way. I just had to find it.

I stretched at my table, out of the hunker which was causing my lower back to stiffen and my arms to ache. I had been at this story for over three months now, following it faithfully. But I didn’t do unhappy endings, so I had to get these two together. I leaned over my laptop screen and sighed. My tea-cup was depressingly bare. The milky tea stains could almost be read. I picked up the cup curiously. Maybe I could get an inkling by musing on it. I turned it this way and that, but all I saw was a dirty cup. Utterly flummoxed, I decided that the best thing to do was to make a new cuppa.

Automatically, I filled the kettle and set it back on its base. I rinsed the cup. Problem was he was over 10 000 miles from her and she had no way to get to him or he to her. Their life paths seemed to be diverging, not converging, especially with their careers seeming somewhat inflexible too. So something had to give without seeming too contrived-–or if contrived, explained away sufficiently to satisfy any loyal reader by that point. So that ruled out magic, convenient inheritances and other deus ex machina like a really long dream by one of them. But maybe some kind of divine intervention… I turned off the tap, my fingers somewhat frozen by the minute of more of rinsing. Absently, I reached for a tea-towel.

What if…

What if the Universe meant for them to be together and every time they thought they were doing something that was taking them away from each other, it was actually pulling them closer together…

Maybe when she finally made that career change, he would be her first client in the Interior Design business, only she wouldn’t know because it would be booked under his new company’s name?
No. Too predictable.

Maybe, they could run into each other on holiday! They both have a similar sense of adventure and a love of old cities, so…
No, too RomCom.

What if…

What if her sister ends up having a dinner party and he’s invited because he’s just moved into her sister’s apartment block? No.

What if his dog trips her like in 101 Dalmatians? Maybe not dog. Cat? Bird? Elephant…

I finally realised the kettle had boiled. Dropping a teabag and two sugars into the cup, I poured in boiling water, then remembered in time (warned by the burning steam) not to sip. Elephants. I liked the idea of elephants. A circus then? A zoo? A volunteer programme. A hunting holiday…or protest against hunters. The Kruger Park, perhaps? A stampede! But where? How? And how could all of this bring them together? Youtube? Something he/she does is posted on Youtube and the other realises they can’t live without them?
No, too implausible giving the number of Youtube vids to accidentally stumble across…

It had to be something more personalised to the two of them. I sat down again at my laptop, carefully setting down the steaming mug.

***

Back in the real world…

As fate would have it, I got stuck on my novel Settle Down Now not two and a half weeks after writing this little piece.

I steered cleared of elephants, had no access to Youtube and drank too much tea. I ended up taking the time to reconsider my previous works like How Not To Meet The Man of Your Dreams, and to stop stressing about Settle Down Now. All this worked out really well for me, ’cause when I finally got back to it, the story was waiting for me and all but told itself 😀

So, I was wondering what little things do you do that get you out of the ‘one stuck writer’ phase? And how did that work out for you?

Leenna’s How Not To Meet Your Man Revised at the special Pre-order price of $1.99 only until 9 February 2015.
Smashwords
iBooks/iTunes
Barnes and Noble

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