Stoppable Force Meets (Hopefully) Moveable Object

Well I’ve written myself into a corner again. I tend to do that every now and then. This time around, my characters are sneaking into a facility to steal something. They’re posing as a repair crew. My outline says something like they “sneak in to fix the [Thing] but really, they’re going to sabotage the [Other Thing] to help with their escape”. I had no idea what either of those would be when I wrote up the outline and left that as a problem for Future Dan. Well, here I am, 50K words later. Future Dan has become Present Dan and I’m nowhere closer to solving this conundrum.

Anyone know anything about mining facilities or refineries? Asking for a friend …

But seriously, it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Okay, inopportune time. We’re in the beginning of National Novel Writing Month after all and like usual, I’m using the event as an excuse to take a huge bite out of my novel like one McGruff might have taken out of crime. I never seem to time my books right … or maybe I do … so I’m never starting a project when NaNoWriMo roles around. I’m always finishing one.

Thing is, I can’t move forward until I figure this out. I want to get to the caper but aside from what they’re stealing, I don’t even know the layout of the place. Perhaps Past Dan should have figured that out too. Thanks a lot, guy!

So instead of drawing with words, I think I’m going to be drawing with like an actual pencil as I sketch a map of the place. I’m big into maps. My brother? He’ll read a book based solely on the map inside the front cover. I have a harder time conceptualizing everything and spend more time trying to make what I’m reading conform to what I saw in the picture which just takes me out of the story. I trust the writer to give me the important details instead.

While I don’t rely on maps so much in my books, I still like to draw them when it comes to environments. It helps with my blocking. I have literally once sketched out a room and everything in it just so I could use a couple of action figures to act out a fight scene.

Way I see it, my tasks are as follows:

  • Figure out what my facility actually does
  • Name the key components and what could conceivably be wrong with them (I mean it could be the spanocrank has snapped its driveshaft … it doesn’t have to be legit, just sound it)
  • Figure out:
    • A. What my repair crew is actually sabotaging
    • B. Why this would be beneficial in an escape

I think once I get all the above covered I’d be comfortable moving on. Some people might just skip the whole scene and continue to push the burden onto Future Dan, but I can’t write that way. I can jump around in an outline as I build it, but I like to write sequentially. No. This is an obstacle in my way and the only way is through, not around.

Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo this year? If so, I’m always looking for more writing buddies. Hit me up and happy writing.

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