Photograph Creative Commons (f/4)
I've stalled a bit in the novel writing process. I've hit the proverbial wall. I could see it was mostly anxiety about how to craft a sub-plot and make it 'real' and 'believable'. And I was nervous about the character with traits unfolding that I wasn't ready to tackle.
The Write Practice once again comes to the rescue.
A prompt to dialogue with a character
and see what he/she really wants.
The outcome of that conversation follows.
"Hey Gwen, I'm stuck. I can't work out how this next plot twist can happen. I'm not even sure I want it to."
"Well about time you got back to me. It's dark here, as you well know. I need to move. Maybe now's not the right time. Maybe for now all I need is to know he's there. I'm feeling excited but confident enough in my cause to be patient. It is unfolding like clockwork. My old friend delivering the goods yet again. Perhaps we can focus on her. Deepen her love. Entrench her further into the misery of love. I can be patient. Confirm my target; observe my prey."
"I feel like I'm giving up. Like I'm too scared to go there."
Gwen smiled and shuddered. Her lips curled toward the blackness in her eyes.
"I can be very patient. I can calculate from afar. I want to deepen my connection with Shaz; slowly let her in. There is no hurry."
She glanced back toward the busy street where the three of them stood huddled in conversation as if she had never left.
"I have to go back now. Lead me back. Trust me. Let the lovers love. This dark lantern needs only a brief flicker of hope to keep black it's burning flame. Come, come, we must move on."
Gwen tugged my writing hand.
"Write me in the longer way. I want to visit her home. See more of her life. She will assist; bear witness to my final strike."
"But Gwen I feel like I'm putting off the inevitable.
I'm avoiding the dark.
You're scaring me."
Gwen twitched, irritation lit the embers in her eyes.
"Don't you leave me too. Wasn't once enough? You owe me. I know you." She pushed me toward the door.
"You're in too deep. This is your story and you need me.
Write me back in. Write me in the long way.
I'll be stronger. I'll be waiting."
She opened the creaky door and slipped back out onto the busy street. Through the tinted glass I could see her laughing, pointing back at the door, sweeping her co-characters into her shadowy net. Saving them all for another day. If only they knew how close to the end they had been.
I shrunk back into the shadows; reluctant, unconvinced and shaking.