Monday, February 21, 2011


Today I'm going to tell you something I don't like about writing.


I did not decide to sit down and take on this crazy thing called writing so that I could figure out silly, stupid, little things like logistics. If Person A can't know where Person B is between the hours of 12:00AM and 12:15AM but Person A needs to get information from Person C and Person C can't ever leave Person B's side or the entire book falls apart, which train gets to the station first?

I found myself caught in a serious maze of logistics the other day. And I hit each dead end, panting, pulling my hair out, kicking at the walls. It's amazing that you can create a world and lock yourself out of it before you realize that you had the key all along. But it happens. More often than I would like. And it's mind numbing. It's not what I signed up for. (Where exactly is the sign up sheet, actually? I'd like to know.)

But, there I am. There I'll be. Sitting in Chapter 3, crawling around in the dark, trying to figure out how to get a character from Point A to Point B when I cut down all communication and transportation systems in Chapter 2 (figuratively of course.)

I sit there looking at the pages and the words and I want to say: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! I own you!" But, of course, I know that's not entirely true...



  1. I know EXACTLY what you're going through at the moment, as I'm still not entirely sure what my characters are doing in my book.

    It's so frustrating to have snippets of action going on in my head, but I'm not sure how they are going to slot together plausibly.Writing is just one complex jigsaw isn't it?

  2. This is so apt for any writer. I am in a slight quandry at present, not quite knowing where my characters are heading - they appear to be dithering!

    But just think of life without writing - I can't bear to imagine that.

  3. After a lifetime of writing things in the exact order they happen, I discovered last year that I write better OUT of order. Which is weird, because I'm usually hyper-organized when it comes to this kind of stuff and out of order used to make me hyperventilate.

    But last year when I started my first novel, I told myself I was going to FINISH it come hell or high water. I didn't even have an ending when I started, but I figured that would eventually come along. So I started writing. And I wrote. And wrote. And then at some point, the ideas stopped coming and I sat there and went, "$&#*(&@(#$."

    So I figured in order to keep writing, I'd skip ahead. I had no clue what happened after Scene B, but I had Scenes F-M planned out in my head, so why not get those out of my head and into my computer? Eventually it all worked out. Took a lot of editing and rewriting and moving stuff around to get things how I wanted, but it worked. :)

    And as for logistics...I have maps and calendars and scribbles and drawings and LISTS UPON LISTS trying to place what happens when and who's where at what time. I've been thinking I should've stocked up on cheap calendars so I could write out what my characters do on what days, but now I'm thinking I should just make my own. Cheaper that way! I'm a mess when it comes to logistics and I'm always scared I'm going to screw everything up bigtime, leaving some giant cavern in my story that will leave readers going, "Um, wtf?"

  4. Haha! Great post! I think this is one we all understand!

    I'm a new follower.

  5. It sounds like it might be time for a class of wine and some cheese and crackers. :)

  6. Ugh. Not fun at all. But yes, wine and cheese or an hour away and it'll pop into your head. I hope it already has!

  7. There are a lot of issues you need to deal when it comes to logistics. Choose the right company to work with.