Sunday, February 17, 2008

My Brain is Giving Me the Silent Treatment.

I've been trying to write the next chapters of "There's No Crying in the War Room" and my brain is not cooperating. Those of you who have been reading are aware that the odd chapters are all told in the First Person while the even chapters are told in the Third Person. Every once in a while, I've started the next chapter and said to myself, this part of the story needs to wait for a "Third Person" chapter to work well.

This is my current problem. Chapter 34 is practically writing itself. Chapter 33 refuses to tell me a lot. So let me ask the writing pros out there this question:

Is is considered poor form to have a chapter that says, "Nothing happened here. Move along."?


Shawn Powers said...

Eh, pull a Steinbeck, and talk about a friggen turtle.


Nathan said...

President Harper waited patiently while the turtle crossed the floor of the Oval Office. It had stepped onto the rug bearing the Presidential Seal only fifteen minutes earlier and was already approaching the eagle.

Yeah, Shawn, I see how I could stretch that into a full chapter. :)

Jeff Hentosz said...

Of course it's not poor form. I enjoy narrative stunts like that. I think that as long as a plot "goof" or typographic trick is in tune with the whole, and isn't so outlandish it pulls one out of the story spell, it's fair game. Another litmus test is, did it make you laugh when you thought to do it? I trust most of those moments.

Look at an extreme case like House of Leaves with its structural acrobatics. That one is actually overboard to me, but people close to me love, love, love it.

Anyway, just do it and move on. There are some of us who refuse to comment on the thing itself until it's done.

MWT said...

Heh, coincidentally I just finished reading Pratchett's Color of Magic earlier today. So when someone says "turtle" I think "gigantic space-swimming turtle with four elephants and a disc world on its back." I bet if you incorporated the Great A'Tuin, you'd manage to get a whole chapter out of it. :)

Steve Buchheit said...

Not being a professional writer, sure, I put those things in all the time. Usually it's a "the words just ain't coming" place holder. I then go on and write the parts that are coming out. Eventually I'll know what goes there, but I need to get the other parts out first. This works great when I'm the only one in the writing room. Heck, I can gloss over parts with the best of them, "something happens, and Bob turns green (vital to joke later in story), more at 11." With the current book I have parts down for Act III (Hell and Back Again) when I don't have Act I finished, or Act II started.

However, doing it in the open creates new problems that I don't have.