The Quest for a Quest!

I’ve been struggling with a chapter of “Tales from Table Rock.”  Which I find quite odd, since I KNOW the story.  I even have photographs of events from the trip.  So, why am I having difficulty getting this particular chapter to flesh itself out on the page? 

When I get stuck, I try a few different approaches.  First might be to put superglue in the chair and force myself to write.  (Not helping…you can play a lot of hands of Spider Solitaire waiting for a flash of inspiration)  Sometimes the perfect solution will appear in a dream. (With the Eclipse premiere less than two days away, my dreams seem to be filled with a rather buff,{Go Team Jacob!} underage werewolf.)  Sometimes I ignore it and hope it will go away.  (Nope, still there…)  Try writing another chapter?  (Dammit, all I can think of is *this* chapter!)  When all else fails… reach out to a trusted and sometimes captive friend to talk it through. (Okay, so it wasn’t really my intent to talk it through, my intent was to complain about my  inability to write a coherent sentence.)

So, talking through the story, and a lightbulb went off.  It sounded like a “What I did on my Summer Vacation” essay.  BORING!  I know the story, but on some unconsious level, the reason I couldn’t get this thing to come out, was that I had no reason for anyone else to care about it.  There was no conflict.  No quest.    Duh!

But… this is a historical novel.  It’s not one of my Urban Fantasies, so I can’t just kill someone to spice up the plot.  So, we talked out the plot from an internal standpoint.  Aha…. there IS conflict, and I now HAVE a quest for this trip.  A rather pivotal plot moment, if I do say so myself!  Oh I love it when this happens, I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about it! 

So, while I’d really love to stay and chat, I’ve got a chapter to write.  Pike’s Peak, and Pacific Ocean, here we come!  Thanks, my captive friend… You know who you are!