Monthly Archives: June 2014

Plot Roadblocks

So, I’ve been writing a long time. I’ve probably over the years begun well over a 100 stories. Maybe 200. I dunno. A lot of them are just fleeting thoughts. Most of them are in the “slut wife” genre. Wife goes somewhere and something happens. Wife’s car breaks down and something happens. Wife is sequestered on a jury and something happens.

A lot of those just fizzle out because, well, I don’t really have anything beyond the premise.

But I have two stories sets of stories that I’ve run at at least a half dozen times, made some decent progress, and then fizzled out. The first is, basically, the Captain Ron story, or some variation of it. Captain Ron is a silly 1992 Kurt Russell/Martin Short comedy. Short’s character, a wimpy landlubber, inherits a yacht. He hires Kurt Russell, Ron, who is sort of a vaguely lovable scoundrel, to captain the ship. Hilarity ensues. Sort of. Pirates, guerillas, a storm. You know, a bunch of set pieces. But what always struck my lurid side was the idea of Ron taking advantage of Short’s wife or teenage daughter. There is a little tension there, but the movie is more interested in action slapstick.

Or maybe the seed of my concept was the 1989 movie Dead Calm with a young Nicole Kidman, Billy Zane, and Sam Neill. I won’t give that one away in case you haven’t seen it. It is a taut thriller and Nicole Kidman is very sexy, as the screen cap below suggests.

Anyway, I’ve written several stories that have gotten well into the thousands of words with some variation of a husband, wife, and a ship. They all have fizzled out.

Similarly, I’ve started at least a half dozen stories with the premise of a couple snowbound in a cabin with either friends or stranded hikers or hunters… they all fizzle out. Not sure why. For one of them I wrote well over 120 pages… and then it fizzled. Very frustrating.

(If you like that snowbound theme, though, definitely check out Kenny Wright‘s Cool With Her. It is much lighter and good natured than anything I’d write, but it is a lot of fun and beautifully written and very, very sexy.)

 I guess I am sort of in the mode of thinking of fizzled stories because I’ve had a bit of writer’s block on my latest novel. It isn’t quite the same as those other pieces. I actually have it pretty well plotted out from start to finish, but I’ve been having some trouble staying motivated. Sometimes that happens to me when I have a story too-well figured out. I often write better when I am still discovering things about my characters as I go along. Anyway, I’ll get it done, but it is funny how a story that can seem so compelling, so insistent on being written, can suddenly become a bit of a chore to complete.