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15 February 2012

To Bay or not to Bay

Poor Michael Bay gets a bad rap for throwing lots of nonsensical explosions, gunfire, and hot women with nothing to say into just about every scene he shoots (no pun intended). For all his critics, Bay is frequently seen laughing in the deposit line at the local bank. And can you blame him? If you happened upon a golden goose that pooped 100 million dollar eggs so long as you fed it a specific diet, would you do any different?

Maybe. Maybe not.

I was thinking about this over the weekend while I was writing a scene where some of my characters were in a Starbucks talking over coffee. A little exposition time. I knew I would need to break this up with something strange or exciting and I couldn't think of a good reason to transition my characters to that new place.

Yes, I was searching for a way to add an explosion after the exposition.

It felt wrong though. I knew if I did this it would be recognizable as the authors will, like the hand of God, coming down from the heavens and decreeing - "Thou shalt be smitten!" Or at least made  to do something interesting. It had to happen, but there was no reason for it to happen other than the pace of the story needed to speed up again.

I decided not to Bay. I will always decide not to Bay. I hope.

My goal every day is to write at least 1,000 words and for three days I didn't meet that goal while I worked through this problem. Kind of hard not to meet that goal. It eats at me when I stall like this. But I finally figured out that I had taken a wrong turn in the story. I deleted four pages, changed things in a few places earlier in the story, and voila, I had an eminent strange occurrence waiting to happen after Starbucks.

Thankfully, after what my characters had consumed in that coffee mecca, that McSpresso of caffeinated beverages, they had plenty of energy to confront the strangeness. Problem solved. I didn't give in to action for the sake of action.

I must admit, however, that I am still looking for a goose that shits gold.