Wednesday, March 2, 2022

When Conflicted about Writing a Scene #IWSG

So...floods. We had a massive storm cell over us that dumped a stupid amount of water on southeast Queensland. The photo above only shows the river at mid-height in my area of Brisbane, but I used this one for reference. The black boardwalk railing went under and the lawn in the top right corner got swamped too. You could just see the tops of the hedges. I believe the river rose 3.4 metres. 

Lives were lost along with homes, businesses and property. I watched boats sink as huge amounts of debris rushed down the swollen river. The basement of my apartment building flooded. Luckily everyone got their cars to higher ground in time. But the lifts have stopped due to the sheer amount of water that's trapped in the lift wells. They won't be working for a couple days more. Consequently, I'm a little stuck. I ain't walking down sixteen flights. Actually, down isn't so bad, but coming back up might kill me. The terrible thing is, I'm running out of chocolate! Whatever shall I do?

I'm fortunate that I'm able to joke while safe at home. There are so many who haven't been so lucky. My thoughts and prayers go out to them.

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The IWSG question of the month: Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?

Being conflicted is part of the story writing process. Will I send my characters into scary territory? Should I follow this theme or that? One time I needed to kill off a side character. I really didn't want to. He was interesting and fun to write. I spent days--no, weeks--stressing over it. Ultimately I did kill him, because it was integral to the main character's arc and the story demanded it. What can I do? I'm a slave to the story.

How about you? Ever have to face this problem? Have you experienced flooding where you live? Or some other national emergency?

33 comments:

  1. Sometimes it's really hard to kill that character.
    Really sorry about the floods and now the elevators don't work. Sixteenth floor? I guess living in tornado and hurricane area, I can't imagine living up that high and so exposed. First to go!

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    1. The first year we moved here we got a mini cyclone. I swear I felt the building sway. But that's not common, though we do have cyclone strength shutters now.

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  2. Hi Lynda - I guess you'd deserve the chocolate (you went down to buy) before you walked back up! The floods seem awful - but good to know you're safe. I couldn't get out of the Eastbourne area one October ... we were an island - but it definitely wasn't that bad. I suspect it lasted less than a day - but it was my god-daughter's birthday and I was due north of London - no ways did I make it! Cheers Hilary

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    1. It's definitely a blessing when the flood is simply considered as an inconvenience. But I feel for all those who have been impacted more.

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  3. I have been reading about the floods (my sister lives in Victoria). Glad you are safe, and hope you can get out soon. I had the same problem killing a nice character. Just killed a bad one though, and that was no problem!

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  4. Wow. Sorry to hear that. Stay safe! I also battle when killing off my characters. It does depend on the story and character arc but it doesn't make it any easier.

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  5. Goodness!! Stay safe. Prayers for everyone there. Chocolate by drone delivery?

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    1. Oh my gosh! I love that idea! Drone chocolate, here I come!

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  6. So very sorry about the flooding. I'm so glad you're safe. That's good that you were able to kill off a character you liked but who needed to die. I just did that in my manuscript, but the memory of the person will live on.

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    1. It's funny how our characters almost become real to us.

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  7. Oh my goodness! Yes, you might have to sign up for drone delivery.

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  8. Rain and floods can be devastating. Stay safe!!
    I'm way too much of a softie to kill off the characters - at least the ones I like... :)

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    1. You're at an advantage that the type of stories you write don't include deaths. Even when loved characters are in danger, I know they'll all get out of it unscathed. Love that!

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  9. The world is a crazy place. Glad you're safe and dry. Hope your chocolate holds out.

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    1. I literally have two squares of chocolate left... eeek!

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  10. I'm just glad you're safe and well. Flood damage can be devastating.

    We have to make tough decision as writers sometimes, but you're right - anything to make the story stronger!

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    1. Story is everything, and if a character has to die to make that story stronger, then so be it.

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  11. I'm so sorry you're dealing with flooding--how scary! And running out of chocolate sounds pretty awful too :-) Seriously, I hope the waters recede soon.

    Killing off characters is emotionally exhausting but sometimes necessary.

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    1. The river receded...and now it's coming up again with more rains and thunderstorms... and tides. Let's not forget the tide. Yikes!

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  12. I'm glad to hear you are safe. Stay that way and use the flooding for story fodder!

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    1. Everything is story fodder, and this flood even more so!

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  13. Good point about the conflict of killing off beloved side characters. Me, too!

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  14. I heard about the floods there. I'm glad you're okay. My wildest flood story happened in New York City, of all places. I worked in Manhattan and lived on an island in New York Harbor. The rivers rose so high that when high tide came in, the ferries couldn't operate because they couldn't dock. Several of us got picked up at a Manhattan pier and taken to our island by a Coast Guard buoy tender. Yay Coast Guard!

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    1. I watched a special on the Coast Guard over there. They do such good work!

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  15. So glad you're safe!

    I would have to be completely out of wine before I'd do 16 floors. Perhaps a relay system could be put in place - 1st and second floors buy stuff, then a relay with the other floors, gradually getting the chocolate to your floor. My next door neighbor would have this totally organized in 15 minutes and good luck not doing your part.🤣 You might have to bribe the first and second floor people with some chocolate and/or wine.

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    1. There'd be no chocolate left by the time it reached me! hahahahaha

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  16. I always feel so long as you speak the truth and believe in what you are writing then you should write it. It's what makes writing so worthwhile:)

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  17. I didn't know about the flooding in your area, Lynda. I hope your lift is working now, and you are able to get out again! And things have dried up. I read a popular trilogy where the third novel killed too many characters, in my opinion! And ruined the series for me. So I can see how choosing to kill characters can be a decision you would wrestle with as you want your reader to enjoy the story, too.

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  18. I'm glad you safe, and yeah, 16 floors. Ration that chocolate!

    Killing off a character can be soo hard, especially when we really like them. But we gotta do what we gotta do.

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