It may come as no surprise to you that my fantasy story, a work in progress, has a big climactic fight scene. The tale needs it to resolve the conflict satisfactorily. Of course, I’d never written a fight scene before.
When I got to that chapter in my first draft, I balked like a horse shying away from a jump. I was so afraid of botching the scene, making a total mess of it, I did the sidestep boogie. The only thing I could do was write a synopsis of what I knew had to happen and move on.
Once I reached the end of the story, I had to go back. It wouldn’t be a real first draft until I put at least some flesh on the bones of that fight scene. Begrudgingly, I paged back to the anemic half draft and tried again. It was worse than pulling teeth! (I’ve had my wisdom teeth removed, so I know.) During the first session, I was at it for an hour but only got a few lines written. Aaaah! I stepped away again.
The next day, though, I returned to the scene. Overnight I’d had an idea. I incorporated the bit of nocturnal inspiration and tried once more to make headway. Again, I managed a few sentences before hitting a wall. I was frustrated by the lack of progress but surprisingly encouraged by the tiny bit I’d managed. So, I decided to relax and trust this new process: short writing sessions with plenty of time away for gestation on the story.
It wasn’t the same process I’d used for the rest, but it worked! I chewed through the difficult scene slowly and finished my first draft. Is that fight a good one? Well, I guess I’ll know when I read through it on my first editing pass.
Until I saw Stuart Danker’s post at his blog on stuartdanker.com on micro-writing, I didn’t have a name for the process I’d accidentally stumbled into. I just didn’t see any other way for me to move forward. Check out a reblog of Stuart’s discussion in my next post or click over to his site using the link above.