March 5, 2014

It's....Deja Vu, Or How I Made The Exact Same Mistake Twice 8 Years Apart

Once again, this has happened to me while working on my latest project:

If you're not quite understanding the intent, then maybe this tiny little info dump will help.

Back in the spring of 2007, I was working on a novella called Cedar Mountain. It was a crime novella of sorts and I was happily plugging away without a care to the world (unlike now, I hadn't a clue on how to write) when I somehow wrote myself into a bad corner with seemingly no escape possible. For about two weeks, I tried to figure a way out of it, but to no avail. Frustrated beyond capacity, I took to the Internet, and the rest as I'm wont to say, is history (yeah, you really don't want me to give you the one page synopsis of how I got to be talking to you today, now do you?).

Not only is it history, but as the title up above indicates, I done gone experienced deja vu. At the exact same spot. With the exact same problem. Within the exact same scene.

Honest and for true.

In 2007, I was at a pivotal scene that next dovetailed into the ending. The scene was the female MC Erica, was theoretically driving the male MC Jon to his parents house, but the directions she was given had her driving him elsewhere. Jon had a key confrontation with Erica over the destination. Additionally, the drug dealer that was trying to do a hostile takeover of Bradley's drug operations was attempting to implement the 3rd part of his plan by getting Bradley to come to him (Bradley is Erica's violent boyfriend/Jon's boss). Within this drive-by mangled wreckage of a scene is where I became collateral damage.

Fast forward to 2014.

I am chest wader deep with this novella, now titled It's Just Business, in that I've been rewriting it from scratch. Using the original story as a basic outline, I've been tweaking some parts, keeping others as is and completely severing others from the story. However, once again I am stuck in the exact same spot with the exact some problem, although it's a tad worse than expected. Because I'm rewriting this novella, the particular part where I'm now stuck, while technically part of the story, will cease to be in its current form.

What does this mean? Well, it means I have to decipher roughly 6 pages of gobbledy-gook and figure out not only what the hell it was that I wrote, but what it was exactly that I conveyed with what I wrote. If you keep in mind that the key elements that make a good story a good read were basically non-existent for me in 2007 (because I didn't know what the hell I was doing), then you have a solid grasp of the issue that I'm facing right now.

Because in order for me to move forward and complete this rewrite, I need to do my best impersonation of Jules daring Brad to say "What?" one more time so that I can make myself explain to myself the rationale to what I had written.


Tell you what, check out this nifty video, which should ease any confusion that you might have, because you know that music can cure any confusion that you might have.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Debra: Theoretically speaking, it was and still is.

  2. What a Bummer! Tough to wrap up a complicated story by ditching the details that made it fun to originally contemplate... But YOU WILL DO IT! Use a flow chart with lines n circles. Just like in CSI!

  3. It's frustrating isn't it? When you find yourself in that situation. I wish you the best of luck.

    Greetings from London.

  4. ACiL: Exceptionally so. Years ago, I would've packed it up and called it a day. Now, I know better. I'll let it be for a while, then when things calm down, will take another crack at it.

    Snaggle: That sounds like an interesting idea. I usually abhor using outlines as I have a tendency to get very lost while creating one, but I may have to in this case.

  5. Sorry, can't do Rush...Jules and Brad? I need some 'splainin!

  6. Maybe you should scratch the scene and start over. Or turn it all into a science fiction with alternate realities and such.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  7. Arlee: I've been thinking about doing that, but I need to find a way to tie the new scene in with the ending, which I really like. As for an alternate reality, I'm already doing that, as the female MC is a hybrid who has a thing for eating humans when called for.

  8. M: In regards to Brad & Jules, there is a scene in Pulp Fiction where Jules and Vincent are in an apartment and Jules is questioning Brad about his boss Marsellus, and Brad keeps answering "What?", which in turn keeps pissing Jules off.


These days, the written word is to die for, so please leave a comment that shows me and everyone else the real you. All kinds of verbiage will be cheerfully accepted in the spirit it was written.