No! Not again. I moan, I whine, I rend garments. My brain is wrung out like a junkie. See? I’m mixing my similes over here. It’s not pretty.
I’ve made it. The final battle. Where the bad guys drop all pretense and execute an all out attack, and the good guys take up arms and try one last clever trick. But I just can’t write it!
My main character’s tapped for power, the group she’s working with is tied up trying to control this big bad thing, and if I have the bad guys attack without giving the good guys a chance to prep, they’re going to lose.
And no, I have no control over this. You’d think I would as the writer, but my characters made it very clear in November they’re going to do whatever they damn well please, they are bound by the laws of physics and they’re not perfect. And they are telling me, right now, they can not fight this battle! The book will have a very different outcome. And since this is urban fantasy and not a prequel to a young adult post-apocalyptic story (which I may have to try now because post-apocalyptic and magic just sounds awesome!), I have to buy them some time.
Dun-da-da-dunnnnnn. Writer Woman to the rescue. Instead of having the bad guys attack now because it would be a good idea since the good guys are busy, have them attack later because what the good guys are trying to do to stop them tips them off! Change it so they were planning on letting this big bad thing take out the good guys and when it appears the good guys are getting a handle on it and making a move, then they take things into their own hands and attack. It’s not like they’re not busy with trying to control this big bad thing anyway.
This way, there’s a perfectly plausible reason to delay the bad guys attacking for a few hours. I like it, it works.
Writer Woman jumps into the plot, reworks a few details, has the main character explain her plan, and then jumps to the scene where they’re getting the plan set up and the bad guys attack. Nope, no need to go through the set up. They are safe in their own little corner of their dimension, there’s no reason to think the bad guys are going to attack, all the fighting up till now has been sneaky. (It’s like girl world in Mean Girls, just with magic instead of gossip.) So they will be taken completely by surprise when the bad guys strike, break through their protections, and physically attack.
If you’re not sure how to make something work, relax the reins, let your characters tell you what works for them (yep, even the bad guys) and go with it. I know! You’re a control freak. The queen of your own little reality. And you want to rule it with an iron fist. However, as every totalitarian government has (or will) figured out, you can’t control everything. The laws of science still apply. People still need to eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom. And they make their own decisions.
Yes, I hate that. Trust me, you don’t become a lawyer by kicking back and going with the flow. But here, you have to. This is their story playing out in another reality and you’re just the one capturing it in this one. You can control how you design your characters, what world you put them in, and then stylistic things like word choice in descriptions and what parts of the plot you write about, but once you design this world, you have to let it go and watch what happens naturally.
So, yep, knockout your inner control freak (usually the inner editor) with a roundhouse kick and get writing before she comes to. Spin your characters up and watch them go because this is their show.
*Sings* “Let it go, let it go. Can’t hold it back anymore.”