The other night, a scene miscarried at a relatively late stage -- 250 words in. That puzzled me at the time, because I'd thought I had a decent handle on what was driving it. The MC in the scene was going to try again to convince his father to let him lead the cavalry charge. I was going to lay out the plan for the battle (which will fall apart quickly, of course) the next day. There were world-building elements I would be able to work out with regards to religious practice.
250 words in, my gut said: no, MC already made one attempt to convince his father and was denied. The battle plan is simple and watching it fall apart will work just as well. Go straight to the following scene of MC angsting over his father's bait and switch (pushing him to lead, then telling him no.) It's more important and there will be religious details there too.
So I stopped and went to the next scene. 770 words gush out, nice and angsty. Threw the aborted scene into the REJECTS folder (I never delete anything.)
I've read about trusting your gut as much as anybody else, but I'll be the first to admit I'm reluctant to trust my gut. I argue with it and get led astray. Clothes I shouldn't have bought, trips that were a waste of time, food that turned out to be a disappointment. Those rollerblades that have been in the closet for ten years now. Bigger stuff, too. Am I the only one who looks at her wedding gown and rolls her eyes?
So how does your gut earn your trust when it comes to writing? I suspect that if I figured that out and bottled it, I'd become a millionaire.
|Pile of tripe. Did I write this?|
Well, I worry about it. I worry about everything. And I take shelter in facts, so here's a little about tripe: it's the stomach of a ruminant, usually a cow. Tripe that you find in the grocery store has been heavily brined and stinks. It's got a texture like a sheet of rubber band elastic. Green tripe is the ruminant stomach with the last meal still inside, and is hard to find. It smells sort of like cow manure, which isn't great but it's not the worst smell out there. Dogs love the stuff and if you suffer through the finding and the serving of green tripe for your dog, you will be the Bestest Human Evar for at least a few days.
|Weapon of choice|
They make medication for this, I know, but it's better to have a cruel inner critic than a rubber-stamper.
Do you trust your gut? What has it shot down recently?