Postscripts: the Philip Marlowe Approach

Reader, I wrote 600 words on The Sequel last night, and these 600 words represent a shift in the novel’s perspective.  See, I had forgotten about it being fun (see my previous post: Not Too Late...), and remembered to enjoy writing.  Those 600 words moved the third-person perspective from my two main protagonists–the majority of my two novels follow them–to one of the side characters who is extremely important to the plot and momentum of the text, but has not warranted his own chapter as of yet.

But I had forgotten what made the last book fun was that there were chapters from side characters, not just my two (starcrossed) lovers.  For the same reason that Much Ado About Nothing has Beatrice and Benedick to buffer the Hero/Claudio storyline, so, too, must we have some comic relief, some plots and plans, some silent machinations to see us through.  Now, excited again about the prospect of developing other characters, I am planning chapters in which we hear from, ultimately, three major sideline plots, if not four.  All related to the main plot, of course, just a chance to see what is happening from someone else’s perspective.

The reason this post is titled “The Philip Marlowe Approach” is that Raymond Chandler apparently was known to, in moments of writer’s block, have someone walk in with a gun.  This put Marlowe into a pickle, hilarity ensued, and the plot moved on.  While no one walks in with a gun in The Sequel–as they are in the Trenches of WWI, there are many guns to be had, after all–I believe that doing something odd to get the plot moving is one of the best pieces of writing advice out there.

What are your tricks to get out of Writer’s Funk, Friends?

Like what you’ve read?  Visit my website at The Life and Times of the Postmodern Bluestocking.


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