What’s bad but not that bad?

I wrote. That’s what I’m supposed to do, but sometimes it doesn’t come easily and I get frustrated. But after I recognized that I was telling myself a story this morning—that I was too distracted to write—I turned up the Bon Iver and spent the next thirty minutes getting some words down. Even if they were the suckiest words that ever did suck, I just needed to break through from not writing to writing.

And now I’m stuck again.

Here’s the problem. I want my protagonist, who is returning to work after a serious, life-threatening injury, to have had a messy life before the injury. But I can’t quite figure out how messy, what kind of messy, do I mean THAT messy? I don’t mind her being a person of questionable moral integrity. In fact, she’s more interesting that way. But there are some transgressions that I myself have some hangups about. Infidelity, for instance. I don’t really have a desire to write about infidelity (at least not at the moment) and particularly not from the perspective of the person ruining someone else’s marriage.

We’re supposed to write about the things that get us worked up, but that’s not what this is. Not exactly. I’m just not interested in figuring out a way to absolve that kind of behavior. She’s my protagonist, and besides, that has been done to death. It’s not only not that interesting to me, it’s also just not that interesting, period.

So. What’s that messy life in my protagonist’s past?

I thought you guys were supposed to be helping me with this.

FINE. I’ll think of something.

But the good news, I got a few new pages done today. It’s very easy NOT to get those new pages done. All that Olympic viewing must be inspiring me to get off my butt.

Metaphorically, of course.

By Published On: February 28, 2010Categories: Writing