Scotts Taped

Personal Notes: My youngest, Ben, is terrified of cats. I'm not terrified of much, except cockroaches. If I see a roach (not other bugs, or even spiders, snakes, rodents, etc.--I'm kind of cool like that) and there's someone else around of a grown-up nature who can kill it instead of me, THEY are going to. I'll be over here in my corner, huddles in revulsion until it's all over, thanks. On the other hand, if I'm the sole adult in residence, I can make myself do the deed . . . because I'd much rather know I killed that sucker, risking it touching me, then think it's going to crawl away somewhere and send out a cattle call to 500 of its closest friends.

Also, sometimes our neighbor's cat shows up in our house. That--and I am not a bad mother for saying this--is hilarious because suddenly the house if RIFE with panicked toddler screaming.

So, I think I finally overcame that whole character-block thing a couple days ago. The thing, of course, is I can't really tell you about it, because it's some major spoilerific, and would probably ruin Golden and quite possibly aspects of Bronze for you. I am not a fan of spoilers, and can only think of two times in my who reading career when I stooped to look up "what happens" online or wherever.

But suffice to say, I'm a very character-driven writer. Most of you know that. Before I do anything, I ask myself, 'Who is this person, and if I stick him or her in this situation, what is the natural thing or or she will do in reaction?" before I do anything else. And that has a domino effect for me. That question's cousin is, "Okay, this is the way I want the EVENTS to take place, so, knowing this character so well, what do I have to do to him or her to make her take that particular action?" Yeah, it's kind of like putting mice in a maze and expirimenting to find out what makes them take the long route verses the short one, to the end. On a basic level, it's pretty obvious; most characters will redirect to avoid a 'bad' thing or redirect to come into contact with a 'good' thing. So you have to ask yourself, "What's my character consider good? Bad? And when faced with two bad options, or two good ones, what's the factor that will make one a lesser evil or a greater good?"

I was fighting with myself. I couldn't write the next scene. I didn't know why. I didn't know why I couldn't just sit down and say "character A is going to do and say this to character B", but I didn't understand why not. And then it hit me. I didn't have all the information. It was one of those monster "story math" problems, you know, the ones where you get a little story about Christopher and Pam, and eating apples, only instead of the problem asking me, "So, how many apples did they have left after they ate X amount?" it randomly wanted to know what the temperature was in Nova Scotia. How the Hades was I suppose to devine the weather patterns on another continent from Christopher's and Pam's lunchtime brouhaha???? How was I suppose to know what Character A needed to say and do around Character B right now to produce the outcome I wanted later . . . when I wasn't--um, quite sure, I mean I kind of knew, but not totally--what was happening at that unspecified future date?

Well, I know now. And even better, I know WHY, and what it all means not just for Characters A, B, and maybe even C, but for the whole rest of my insane Dionadir posse.

Someone, I'm am not even kidding, you better be sending me some brownies. With no nuts.


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