So get this:

You sit down at your desk or whatever station it is that you use to write, and you make haste to open your laptop. Your fingers are wriggling at the prospect of being able to continue writing your wonderfully UNIQUE AND SPECIAL AND SUPER AWESOME story.

You’ve been on a very good streak for the better part of the previous month. In fact, there was a whole week were all you did was write twice the amount of your daily word count. There’s a voice in your head that says ‘I can do this, yeah! I’m the best writer that there will ever be! Robert Jordan? Michael Moorecock? C.S. Lewis? Tell those bastards to make way for me!’

You are at the top of the world, your writing is the most profound and intellectually composed piece of literature that will ever be. You dream of how impressed your friends will be the second that they lay eyes on your sublime prose. You will fantasize about how creative they will call you, how original your writing is, and when they ask how you did it, you’ll pretend that it was all through the power of your imagination. Well sure, there’s that one guy that says you’re ripping off Star Wars…then the other guy that says your protagonist is bland…then there’s…but they don’t matter!

Editors will tear up the door-stopping manuscripts that they’ve been editing at the sight of your masterpiece!

You are pumped up and the palms of your hand are sweaty from how firmly you’ve been gripping your writing desk with them. The computer boots up, you flex your fingers and within an hour or two you expect to have finished your daily routine. You click on your respective word processing software.

You had left off in the middle of a scene that had given you difficulties in the previous day. Mr. Hero needs to cross Lava Valley to get to his blonde, spunky love interest. You remember planning out exactly how this scene would end up on the previous day. Mr. Hero would cross Lava Valley to find his love was just a manikin set up by Mr. Dark Lord to distract him. Everything is ready, so you flex your arms and plunge your hands into the keyboard.

Your fingers contract and jut out in slithering motions. Like vipers your fingers crash down, stabbing at the keys of your laptop producing that ever so satisfying taptaptap and all of your ideas are coming into you. The flurry of typing continues and you are sent into a state of ecstasy where you feel that could finish the whole book in one day. You close your eyes, but something is wrong. There’s a prickly feeling along the nape of your neck.

You ignore it; deciding that your time is better spent slamming the keys on your laptop. But then it comes back. Then the taptaptap becomes more of a tap…taptap…tap…

You open your eyes.

Instead of finding another piece of your masterful prose, all you see is garbled gibberish with a spattering of the occasional two-syllable word. You realize that all the ideas that you’d been fantasizing about were ideas that would occur later in the novel.

It turns that Mr. Hero was not at Lava Valley just yet. Mr. Hero had been making the 20 mile journey to reach Lava Valley, in a village where he would speak to a new character that would direct him on the way to the valley. You realize that you can think of no way to make this scene interesting.

Perhaps you could add a new antagonist but you remember that that was the thing that you did on the previous week. It worked back then, but it would be a while before that antagonist’s story arc would return. You take a pause and hope that it will help you continue writing. Your fingers are still frozen in place. Your mind is now an empty and hollow husk were imagination can no longer be harvested. Locusts have begun to eat at your crops and your mind is suffering a famine of ideas.

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Where is your God now?

Then another sinister whisper hisses in your ear ‘Congratulations dear writer, you’ve made it past the part of the story were everything was new and fun for you. I’m afraid that’s going to be changing for another few days…a week…maybe two weeks? Welcome to the most loathed part of writing novels.’

You blink twice and snap yourself out of your delusions. Perhaps you should have waited until you had breakfast before you started writing. Then a trickle of sweat rolls down your greasy cheeks. A horrid realization dawns upon you.

You’ve reached the Second Act of your story.

 

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