So I sat in my coffee shop and got just over 500 words and gave up. On the way home, I gave myself a stern talking-to about the fact that the Robert Penn Warren paragraph I posted earlier today was certainly not a first draft and that you can’t get to a paragraph like that without a first draft. That was one thing.
The other was that — as I despairingly notice that I seem to keep coming back again and again to the same set of fictional “facts” — they are relevant again and again in the story. Instead of thinking that it means I need to find the final resting place for them, before I know all the alternatives, I need to realize that it means they’re important, and each time they come up, I learn something new about the character’s backstory.
With those two bits of advice, I came home and finished off the word count to 1,035. And the latter observation turned out to be true. I now know that my protagonist will have to make a journey to visit her ex-husband, to Las Vegas perhaps, but maybe someplace else. I don’t know for sure where or when.
So I’m back at it again. My preliminary plot planning is making the writing possible, but not much easier. But possible.