Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The Bump in This Writer's Road
I hit a bump in the road.
It happens, okay ...
I was typing away on my next great masterpiece. In this particular part of the story, Kimberly -- the protagonist -- is taking her ex-husband to court over his summer visitation with their children. It's not that she doesn't want him to see the kids ... or vice-versa ... it's just that he's been reportedly hanging out in too many bars, with too many leggy women who may (or may not) be spending the night in his hot new bachelor's pad. Kimberly is concerned, as any mother should be, about the welfare of her children.
So she goes to court.
I know the family court system well. (See my post about our adoption of our little one...) and I know how the legal system can work against you as easily as it can work for you. I also know how the system works here in Florida. Some issues go before the judge -- the grand master who sits behind the big high desk donned in flowing black robes (the grand master, not the desk) -- and some go before the General Magistrate.
They don't wear robes but they do sit behind big high desks and sometimes they are more frightening than the judges they are there to represent.
The feel of being in the courthouse ... the smells ... the sounds ... the sight of it. This is know.
So, Kimberly is taking her request for a more controlled summer visitation to the G M. She is not bringing legal counsel with her (also sometimes the way it goes).
As I am typing away -- impressing even myself on how well the words are flowing from my fingertips --I have a sudden thought. Would she, I questioned, have an attorney for this or no? Should she? Could she represent herself (often the case with a G M hearing...)?
This, I don't know.
So I called a friend of mine who works within the family court system. She didn't answer, so I left a message. I waited for a return call. I didn't get it. I called again. Still, nothing.
Could she be out on vacation, I wondered ...
My main character is sitting in the courthouse waiting area with her sister Heather by her side. Her ex-husband is across the way, standing with his attorney. The sister remarks, "I thought you didn't need an attorney for this hearing ..."
"I don't," Kimberly replies.
And that is when it hit me ... I don't know for SURE!
Thus the call and the waiting and the not getting any writing done for days. This, as any writer will tell you, presents a dangerous problem. Getting out of the heads of the characters, out of the flow of the story, out of the mood entirely! Dangerous!
Finally, I had another thought. Hey! I'm a FICTION WRITER! HELLO! I can make this up until I know for sure. For absolute certain.
"So then," Heather now says as my fingertips return to the keyboard of my computer, "why is Charlie with his?"
And then story begins to flow again. And I'm liking it!
Here's hoping they don't need an attorney for this ... 'cause that's the way I wrote it.
Writing on ...