Thursday, March 26, 2009

Writer's Block

You may have noticed a failure to post for a while recently. I'm a little blocked up, writing-wise. Sometimes it's hard to keep it up. I love writing, and I'm good at it, but I get discouraged sometimes, you know? It's hard remembering that I need to work at it, that I need to not get discouraged by how few people read my blog, to remember that the readers will come if I provide incentive. I need to update this more often. I need to write more. I need to finish posting my boat journal entries. They aren't my finest work ever, but I want them preserved in the great internet.

Anyway, I'm done whining. I did write something tonight. John Rogers, former writer of Blue Beetle and current writer of Leverage, which I keep meaning to watch, suggested a writing exercise. He said you should write a scene from the point of view of supporting cast members, and villains, anyone other than the protagonist, as if they were the main character of the story. It's a pretty obvious idea now that I think about it, but hey, sometimes it takes someone else pointing it out.

Anyway, I tried it with a character from my NaNoWriMo novel. Bernadine Dale. Whom I have renamed Nadine Dale because I like it better. It was really interesting. I found out a lot about her I hadn't known before.

Anyway, here it is:

Nadine Dale was not a jealous person. When Roxie got the lead in the school play, Nadine was entirely sincere in her congratulations. She told herself there wasn't a bit of her that wanted that spotlight a little more. When Grant aced a test without studying, she was happy for him. Even if she'd studied hard all week and only scraped up a B minus. Friendship came before her own happiness.

But this was almost too much. Roxie was dating a superhero? Roxie hadn't told her she was dating a superhero? Some best friend.

Not that Nadine was jealous. Nadine didn't get jealous. Not even a little.

So what that Roxie was the center of attention, and Nadine wasn't? It wasn't like Roxie was enjoying herself. Roxie hated all the attention. Which, Nadine had to admit, was probably why Roxie hadn't told her about her relationship with Golden Sun. Nadine was known to be a bit of a gossip. But she would have kept Roxie's secret!

And Nadine wasn't even jealous that Roxie's boyfriend was the absolutely gorgeous Golden Sun. Who could fly. And had superpowers. That could probably be used in very interesting ways and there was no way in hell Nadine would finish that thought because fantasizing about her best friend's super-boyfriend? Not cool.

But Nadine wasn't jealous. She wouldn't let herself get jealous. Roxie was her best friend, and that friendship was too important to be torn apart by jealousy.

But she could go be happy for Roxie after another minute. First she had to stand under the staircase where no one was likely to see her. She had to crumple the newspaper closed and close her eyes tightly. She had to ignore her terrible track record with a string of boyfriends and girlfriends that hadn't lasted more than a few months, at most. She had to ignore her superhero idolatry. She had to ignore how it always seemed like it was someone else getting the lucky break. None of it was as important as Roxie's happiness.

Nadine wasn't jealous. She was happy. If it was the sort of happiness that made her insides clench up a little, well, no need to tell that to anyone.

For those wondering, Roxie isn't actually dating Golden Sun. The paper misinterpreted things.

I don't think I'm going to edit and publish my novel. There's too much wrong with it, and I think it would be better suited to a comic book anyway. I might try and write a script for it. Wish I knew more artists!