Planner, Plotter, and…Hostage?

The last update I shared I had been busily planning, plotting and preparing my crazy life for two intense days of writing. For all intents and purposes, my schedule was cleared, my intentions made known to my family, and I was prepared to be typing away with a big, stupid smile on my face. My life cooperated. My characters did not.

I sat down with everything ready to go and proceeded to stare at my computer screen. All the “brilliant” ideas my characters had been feeding me dried up and died 10,000 deaths. I tried to make sense of the cacophony of voices in my head, each one louder than the last, each vying for my attention. Unable (or unwilling) to do anything, I was afraid to “upset” a character by choosing one direction over another. That’s when it happened, I became a literary hostage. Each character more insistent that their story direction was best and if I chose wrong the story would be over before it started. That’s a lie of course, but on Tuesday I believed it.

For the better part of the day, I was bound by fear of choosing the wrong path and listening to the wrong character. So I sat there wasting those precious planned hours of writing and then went on a cleaning spree (God help my family). In retrospect, it was the best thing and the very worst thing I could have done. It was for the best because I was forced to dig deep and make some hard choices…”scared” choices. It was the worst thing simply because now I’m mourning those hours when words should have been leaping onto the page.

Eventually, I did get a good amount of writing done, but this literary hostage situation was a new one for me. Now to see what I can do so this doesn’t happen again…

Have you ever been in a similar situation? What did you do to get through it and prevent it from happening again?

Update 1/10/19: As of today, the words are flowing and the characters are cooperating to the best of their scandalous abilities.