This week I managed to get my writing life in gear for the most part. Thursday and Friday were difficult for me, and both nights I either ended early or spent my writing time wandering Craigslist searching for apartments I couldn’t even move into for four months at least. Luckily I was able to call myself on my failure and spent some time yesterday making up the wasted time. I ended the week 4,180 words richer in Uncanny Valley.
Part of my failure on Thursday and Friday was because I hit a rough patch in the story. Tyrel and company finally got access to a television, and I realized that I had no idea how the Emergency Alert System worked in that medium. Cue me trying to research the EAS, tv broadcasting, and the National Guard (and not doing a stellar job of it).
Another problem for me was that switching the tv on suddenly dragged the narrative to a halt. There were key facts that I had to get across in the breaking news format, which basically meant everyone stopped having fun character interactions and listened to a bunch of news anchors. I would like to point out that despite the sudden info-dumping I did manage to throw in little seeds for three future plot points: Shantelle’s location in a zombie-heavy area, Ami and Kenji reacting to news about the Fairfield Third Precinct, and the mobilization of the National Guard. All of that was in addition to the key information the kids needed to decide to evacuate the school.
Spelled out that way, perhaps that scene was just hard to write because of its complexity and not because there were talking heads. That’s what I’ll tell myself for now so I can keep moving forward. (It can be fixed in the second draft!)
Have you ever gotten sidetracked by research or bogged down trying to impart crucial information?