Right before the holidays, I completely lost the urge to write. I dabbled here and there, poking at some works-in-progress, but overall? Dead stop. We had a vacation planned for mid-January, and I hoped that would help. In the meanwhile, I put a chapter of a WIP on Critique Circle and tooled around over there, writing some critiques and not trying to be productive. On vacation, I managed to get some writing done, but couldn’t drum up any enthusiasm for anything in particular.
Then I saw an article about the wedding boom in New York City since same-sex marriage became legal, and how many wedding planners have changed their focus. That started me thinking about the cliché of the gay wedding planner, which then made me think of Martin Short in Father of the Bride: “The cack sets the tone for ze whole wedding.” On top of that, I wondered about all the subterfuge involved in planning a celebrity wedding while trying to keep the time/date/location secret from paparazzi.
What if a well-known closeted celebrity wanted to marry their long-time lover, and use the wedding as their coming-out party? How far would they be willing to go to keep everything under wraps until the big day?
Several twists and turns later, I had the bare bones of a plot, and started sketching out the characters. Before I had much more than the opening page, I happened on a submission call for wedding-themed stories. It was absolutley perfect… except the deadline was five days away. I honestly thought I might be able to do it: 5,000 words a day for four days, and one day to edit.
I made it through day one with 4,500 words, and the morning of day two I reached 6,000 with no trouble. That’s when the trouble started. The two main characters were more complicated than I thought, and as I wrote, it occurred to me that there were a whole slew of details I needed to address to make this fly. What about their families? Whose names are on the invitations? Is there a pre-nup?
That’s pretty much where I gave up on trying to make the deadline. Could I have done it? Maybe, but I’d have had to throw out a lot of stuff, leave out several scenes or condense them mercilessly. And then the story would suck, and it would be my fault. I don’t have a huge backlist of stories right now, so putting out a rushed attempt with big plot holes isn’t a good idea. Scratch that– actually, it’s never a good idea.
So, will I finish the story? Yeah, I will. I’m somewhere around the 12,000-word mark right now and moving right along. Even better, I’ve pulled out some other stalled stories and moved them forward as well. Seemed all I needed was a deadline, even if it turned out to be impossible.