1. Smoke Z
    Offline

    Smoke Z Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    36

    How often do you write yourself into corners?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Smoke Z, Apr 13, 2014.

    I've got a general plot where getting from one point to another is a huge stretch, and I've decided that the two major players are antagonistic to each other to the point where the common ground is not something that they can work out.

    It's probably going to take another three tries before I can get them into a room together for civilized discussion. At least I'm not precious about it.
     
  2. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,566
    Likes Received:
    3,563
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    Often. Just on Friday, two characters were supposed to talk shop but all they wanted to do was screw. It's like, putting them into the same scene is writing yourself into a corner unless the goal is to write sex. In fact, the moment it was decided they should meet - bang! - hitting a corner.

    This also sometimes happens when you write too smart characters. It's like, how am I gonna get them in trouble now?
     
  3. plothog
    Offline

    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    514
    Location:
    England
    Sometimes I've had to scrap stuff. Other times it's possible to sow the seeds to a solution earlier on in the story. If the metaphorical seed is sown correctly then it will have grown into a tree to help you climb over the wall at the end of your dead end.
     
  4. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,724
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    I don't think of it as writing myself into corners, but I'm a pantser, and that means I often take wrong turns. My character relationships are almost always right - I know my characters pretty well before I start - but the plot meanders like an old, slow river, and forms some oxbow lakes that need to be gotten rid of in revision.
     
  5. jannert
    Offline

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,804
    Likes Received:
    7,322
    Location:
    Scotland
    I've had some close calls. Mainly because I write historical fiction, and I'm very picky about my 'real' historical data being correct.

    A few times I've had characters about to do something they could not have done during that time period. A few years later, yes, but not yet. Fortunately I managed to catch these anomalies before writing them into the story. But yoiks...
     
  6. Smoke Z
    Offline

    Smoke Z Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    36
    Well, that is my other problem... I have a somewhat-smart character interacting with characters that would either ignore her or eat her under normal circumstances. I've had to install a time-travel plot tumor where everyone knows that she's the Macguffin because someone else they trusted told them so. (The time-travel tumor still needs to be there, but oh gawd I just found a funnier way to play it that might cause the entire current draft to be scrapped.)
     
  7. Lovegrove
    Offline

    Lovegrove New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    3
    1. You could have the two characters deciding that having sex would be a bad idea at that junction, and thus engage in shop-talk in an effort to not throw themselves at each other.

    2. Imitate life. How do smart people usually end up in trouble? Hubris, arrogance, underestimating their opponents, juggling too many schemes at the same time etc.
     
  8. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,566
    Likes Received:
    3,563
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    @Lovegrove Thanks :) Solutions tend to present themselves after a while, and I actually find these situations more amusing than annoying. And believe me, initially every stop and string was pulled to keep those two from bedroom high-jinxin' it :D Let them have their fun now, it won't last long...
     
  9. obsidian_cicatrix
    Offline

    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,711
    Likes Received:
    1,453
    Location:
    Belfast, Northern Ireland
    That sounds ominous. :D
     
  10. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,566
    Likes Received:
    3,563
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    Haha. Well, you know, equilibrium never lasts in the fictional world...
     
    obsidian_cicatrix likes this.
  11. Renee J
    Offline

    Renee J Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    214
    Location:
    Reston, VA
    I write into corners often. Usually, I just back out and start again to get around it. But, this last one I think I wrote too much to do that. I was supposed to write one of my main characters irritated with his family, but it was mostly a misunderstanding due to not communicating. Instead, I wrote the family as likable and even the main character enjoyed being in their company. Now, I have to find a realistic reason for him to get mad enough to not go home for Thanksgiving dinner. I'll probably just rewrite it in the second draft.
     
  12. Bryan Romer
    Offline

    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    381
    It's never happened to me. I work out the overall plot before hand if not each detailed scene, so I know where everyone has to go, and if anything a character does or says works against the plot I simply change it.
     
  13. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    Not very often. Even though I don't outline or really plan ahead, I do stop and think about possibilities before committing to a specific action. But corners can be fun, too...
     
  14. Wild Knight
    Offline

    Wild Knight Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    32
    I don't just write myself into corners often- I run full speed at them, I trip, stumble, cracking my forehead on them in the process. Good thing they're not table CORNERS, or I'd be bleeding out what remains of my plot.

    I have many different story ideas for that same cast of characters. I probably should just swallow my pride and make new characters for those alternate scenarios, because I want to write ALL of them, but nope, I won't.

    So I'll only continue charging full speed, only to find a corner that I won't be able to swerve around... *cracks forehead at aforementioned corner*

    That upper paragraph made me choke on my tea laughing, so I was both laughing hysterically and coughing at once. It kind of hurt.
     
  15. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,566
    Likes Received:
    3,563
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    Oh no, please don't sue me :(
     
  16. Wild Knight
    Offline

    Wild Knight Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    32
    Oh, don't worry. I won't sue you. This time.
     
    KaTrian likes this.

Share This Page