picture copyright Soul Wolf Journey 2012
I have been struggling with a scene for almost a week. Normally I’d move on to something else and come back to the stumbling block but this is one of those critical points that will determine where the story-line goes from here. Without giving too much away it involves two of the central characters stumbling upon a wolf in the wild. For those that have read “White Wolf Moon” this would be considered a spoiler but I need to give you at least some idea of what this scene is about.
I wrote the first draft on Monday, writing well into the late evening. I’d spent a lot of my reading time researching wolf psychology previous to writing “White Wolf Moon”. From what I’d learned I felt I understood what would really happen in this new situation and could tell it realistically. I was incredibly pleased with what I’d come up with and looked forward to filling and smoothing out the details on Tuesday. When I re-read it the next morning my only thought was “how cheesy and implausible is this anyway?” and I rewrote the ending, trying a different outcome. Since then I have spent far too many hours writing four different endings, all resulting in the same “cheesy” feeling. No matter what I did the result of my efforts felt forced and far-fetched. Yesterday I decided that it would be easier to scrap the whole idea and try a totally different scenario to get my point across. In order to start again I needed to find some information on the psychology of wolves but this time in a wildlife park or sanctuary setting, assuming it might be different. I hoped I could adapt my ideas into this somewhat restrictive setting and still keep the story-line moving.
I got on the internet and one of the first articles that came up not only related my original in-the-wild idea but, different environment aside, echoed the first ending. What I considered to be fantasy and “way out there” has actually happened many times and the majority of these real-life encounters has ended in much the same manner as I had ended my first draft. These actual encounters have been called “special” and “unbelievable”, two of the words I would use to describe my original scene…which, as of an hour ago, is finally finished. All it took was a little research to confirm that, as the old saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction…or in this case, the same.
I suppose I could feel that I’d wasted three days although I don’t. Putting the same characters in slightly different situations was a good exercise and provided a valuable learning experience. Just because I thought I’d made it up doesn’t mean it hasn’t actually happened.
Go with your gut…and your imagination. That’s where good stories come from and when the two of them are in sync the results can be, like meeting a wolf in the wild, pretty special.