Anticrastination Scribproductivathon

My writing collective, We Put Words On Paper, is currently holding a writing marathon/lock-in. It’s called the Anticrastination Scribproductivathon, and this is its third incarnation (though my first attendance), subtitled “Scrib Hard With a Vengeance.”

We’re on hour 6 or so, and had planned to go for at least 8 hours of writing, writing exercises and plotting world domination.

So far, we’ve done two writing exercises (one that I found went well for me, one that didn’t), and written for an hour and a half straight on our various individual products. We’re in the middle of our second longer writing session, and we’ve got some Explosions in the Sky Radio on to keep the fingers typing. I decided to write up this blog, as I’m a bit stuck as to where to take my scene next, having actually ended the first block of our writing time on a cliffhanger in my novel.

What next?

I guess what’s bugging me right now about the scene is that I’ve set up my character to be in some type of danger. And I know that, realistically, the piece must take her to and through this danger. She must be up against this particular conflict. She will survive, but she will not be on top in this scene. It’s hard for me to do that to this character, because I like her and want her story to be funny and upbeat and something people can identify with—it’s not being downtrodden or a bummer. And this scene? This scene IS a bummer. It’s going to be a bummer to write, and probably a bummer to read. But it’s going to move the plot forward.

I have a problem with having bad things happen to good people. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s my version of poetic justice, trying to protect the “good ones” from harm. But I know that conflict is often made up of the bad things that happen to good people, and the resulting story is what those people do to adapt, to cope, to make it through, to understand, to survive and to thrive.

I think it’s because I want the story to be amusing or comedic overall that I’m having a tough time writing the tragic scenes. They are certainly necessary; I’m not going to torture this character for no reason, after all. But I prefer to write the funny scenes, for sure.

Strange, coming from someone who used to write plenty of stories that wallowed in misery. I guess I need to channel that old way of thinking, at least for a few moments, to get through this scene.

How do you deal with the need to murder (or at least maim) your darlings?