So this morning I was working on a scene and none of it went as planned.
First, we had a snowstorm Sunday into Monday so the kids were off school all day Monday. That ate into writing time. Second, the school lost power so the kids were also off today (Tuesday). So, lots of distractions.
Anyway, I had about an hour to write this morning and as is my wont, I skimmed over what I’d done yesterday, made some minor edits to ease into the flow and then let my subconscious guide me. I ended up at a scene in which Frigg flies back from one small town to the big town of Ifington.
An Odin scene precedes this one with Frigg. In his, he fought a coven of witches who’d attacked Gladsheim. I decided it’d make sense for witches to also have attacked Ifington (for reasons) and the timing worked out well b/c Frigg was heading back there.
So, the scene is meant to accomplish a few things:
- Show bad things happening in several places which leads to stuff
- Solve timeline issues which require Frigg to be in Ifington so that Odin can get a message to her
- Character building for Frigg — she’s directly involved in helping her people and taking charge
- Introduce some world building — what the city and countryside look & feel like.
As I was going thru the scene it was pretty “meh” — several people just reporting the bad news to Frigg. Very passive and boring. The scene also didn’t describe anything at all. Mostly just dialog and some tags.
So the scene sucked but the idea was ok.
I decided that I wanted to get Frigg seeing columns of black smoke rising above the city, fires raging, burned out husks of buildings, people hurt, cats and dogs living together, etc. And then she’d swoop down and help out. And then she’d get reports on what was happening as the scene progressed. Above all, I wanted it to be visceral.
So I started in on that … and then I screwed up.
As I was describing Frigg’s flight in, I had to decide which side of the river Ifington was on…and how the city had grown to incorporate another river. And, wait, did it make sense for rivers to branch like that down at the sea? And what did the coastline look like? And if the river branched, then what else was there? Farmland? And where did the river that did the branching come from?
If I’d stopped there, I might’ve been ok. But, I didn’t. I tabbed out and started searching rivers that branch (the Nile is a good example). And then I was worried that the topography didn’t make sense particularly based on what I’d already described so I started searching topographic maps. For the Pleistocene. Because reasons.
And then I went down additional world building rabbit holes, since I had to establish why the Aesir ended up at Gladsheim while the Jotunn ended up at Ifington. Which led to writing a short descriptive piece about how everybody got where they were.
Why did I do all that? Sometimes my brain won’t let me get past minor details until I have them figured out. Fair enough. The rest falls under the “I should’ve known better” category.
As in, never, ever tab out. Just keep writing.
Most of the times I don’t tab out. But this morning?
Got some good world building done, at least. Hopefully. I haven’t looked at it again.
Tomorrow morning, though, I have about an hour between getting home after dropping the kids at school and starting work. I haven’t been successful in using that time for writing…but tomorrow I will. I will!