The Bridge is Too Well Guarded

JMS says, I’m paraphrasing here, that when writing is going well it becomes effortless. He knows his characters so well that his writing experience is one of observation. He can set up the situation, put a character in it, and he knows how they will act.

I dream of that experience. Writing is still a struggle. At the moment my characters are fairly interchangeable. Making dialogue unique for each character is difficult. I think this is something that comes with time. Everyone knows that the first draft is always utter rubbish! In my mind the first draft should be the bare bones of the story. When that is down you can go back and change things. Maybe you deiced a particular character never swears. So you go back and change the words. A friend of mine used to say ‘bar steward’ as a swearing substitute – though she did swear too. This is just the start then you can change other things and slowly build up a better idea of character.

The most important thing when writing is to finish the damn thing. That is the part that I still struggle with. It is getting there though – very very slowly. The characters I’m dealing with aren’t human and that is a little difficult. My Centaurs speak like Teal’c.

The hardest part of writing is, what I call, bridging chapters. I.e you can write the stuff about the troubled teen – you can writer the upstanding Police officer but getting the one to the other is difficult. If the transformation is too slow it becomes dull – too fast its unbelievable –  and just jumping ahead feels like is cheating.


Teal’c: If we are discovered, you will be brought to Apophis along with us.
O’Neill: Well, we’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.
Bra’tac: No. The bridge is too well guarded.

Bloodlines – Stargate SG-1 – Season 1 Episode 12.

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