As an alternative to kicking puppies, yesterday I decided to give my story a new point of view. The problem I had run into earlier in the week was simple: my protagonist was locked in a room with no hope of escaping. I knew that a certain leggy blonde nurse with a 1950’s hairstyle would be instrumental in gaining Bannister his freedom, but I had no idea what to do until she decided to bust him out of the joint, nor even what would motivate her to do so.
The solution: switch to a new perspective so I could see what the other characters — Doctor Gordon, a pipe-smoking fellow who looks a lot like Dennis the Menace’s father, Nurse Watson, the aforementioned leggy blonde, and Manley, who’s just this guy who runs the computron and wonders if he’ll be arrested for inadvertently uttering a Class 2 Vulgarity — were up to while Bannister was trying to find a way out of his predicament.
The tricky bit with the perspective shift is that I don’t really want to go third-person omniscient and I have to be careful about crawling into the heads of characters other than Bannister Proulx or risk giving away too much too soon.
I’m roughly 12,000 words behind at the moment, but there’s a write-in at the International House of Johnson tonight and I know that Charley will be there. Charley is the reigning king of word sprints. I have absolutely no hope of dethroning him, but his presence will push me to crank out those precious, precious words.