The Breakfast Slog

Bob Mayer used to make me walk the terrain of whatever novel we were writing (translation: go walk around the setting), and as much as I bitched about it, he was right, it really helps.  So this morning I walked the terrain of Nita’s breakfast scene.

Yes, the same damn scene I’ve been trying to fix for months.   It’s too long, it goes nowhere, it’s infodumpy (which I now have a new horror of after watching Justice League) and it’s annoying the hell out of me.  But I need it there because it’s the first sober interaction between Nita and Nick, and it has to establish the foundation of the relationship.  I have accepted that I have a vulnerability problem with Nick ( he’s dead, so he’s invulnerable) and I have realized that I need a much bigger end to the scene and fixed that,, but it’s still all over the place.

So since it takes place at breakfast in a diner, I went to breakfast at my diner and ate the terrain.  

It was delicious.  I worked the whole time, splitting the scene into four parts (set up, escalation, complication, climax, although those two middle ones could have been swapped, no problem), and sorting out the subplots in color coding that have to keep spinning while Nita and Nick argue and eat.   Now all I have to do is rewrite the damn thing.  

I will have this sucker fixed before I go to sleep tonight, I swear.  This is just to let you know that I’ve been working.  Also my Grammarly report this week says that I am more productive than 99% of users, used 99% more unique words than most users, but I’m only 75% more accurate than most users.  Then they tempted me to buy the premium service because the advanced program found 1,320 more mistakes.

Why they think that’s a selling point is beyond me.


27 thoughts on “The Breakfast Slog

  1. You can say that scence is a mess. I will still read it a million times.

    I’m glad you are feeling good about it. And… yum!!

  2. “Ate the terrain” gave me a much-needed laugh. Glad to hear you’re progressing, and pleased.

  3. That is great advice! Thank you and now I want breakfast for dinner!

  4. Love that empty syrupy plate below the screen shot.

    I am curious, so I ask: are you known to the diner folk? What’s your identity?

    1. They know Krissie and I are writers, and I gave the owner one of my Greek editions because she’s Greek. Mostly I think I’m known for being a good tipper (g). People around here don’t really care about the Crusie stuff, which is fine by me.

    1. There is no green in that breakfast. Those are potatoes, which I did not eat because I’m going to hell for the carbs in that breakfast already. At least I brought my own real syrup (gift from Krissie) instead of the fake stuff that really would have spiked my blood sugar.

      1. Because I always have real maple syrup at home (I live in maple syrup country), it appalls me to eat a lovely breakfast like that and ruin it with fake syrup. I applaud you for bringing your own.

        PS–let me know when you need more. I can fix you up, dude.

  5. Every time you talk about this scene, I wind up having fried eggs and buttered toast for dinner. Which is not a bad thing at all! My shopping list says buy pork for dinner; I could definitely make that into sausage. Yay! Dinner sorted!

  6. Honestly one of my favorite things about my apartment is the diner a block away from it. There’s something about a good diner that facilitates conversations between strangers and regulars, which I love. Also the food. THE FOOD.

  7. That breakfast reminds me of returning from Nova Scotia. On the second day of our journey, going over the border to Maine from New Brunswick where we had stayed a night at a hotel/motel we just decided to have a cup of tea/coffee and hit the road home and get breakfast on the way. You know the road signs that read food and services next exit. We took that road and were hoping for a McDonalds at least and saw the arches. But before we pulled in we noticed a diner that had a fuller parking lot than McD’s and that’s where we had our meal. Figuring the locals know. Maybe we were that hungry but it sure beat the ordinary fare. Oh, and the diner had a train set running just below the ceiling for a curiosity. That’s what I see when I look at your breakfast.

    1. I have a thing for diners, so when I was thinking about buying this house–which was derelict and full of mold so it was a real decision–I asked the real estate agent for a local place to eat and she sent us (Krissie and I) there. We debated the house over huge plates of great food, and Krissie finally said, “It’s a mess and the taxes are too high and you’re going to be fixing it for the rest of your life. I think you should buy it.” So I did and she was right, but I wake up every morning in paradise–spring is unbelievably beautiful here–and the diner is only about two miles away.

      1. As a former diner cook/waitress, it makes me feel good that there are still some great diner regulars out there.

  8. But that was such a funny scene! I vote you keep the old one posted on the website so we can compare later 😁


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