My Grand Jury service came and went and I, sadly, did not find the villain I thought would walk into the courtroom and lend a face, and perhaps a voice, to this character I want to write.
I know better than to force it, so I was hoping he'd insinuate himself in real life by walking right into my day and smiling slyly. I imagined I'd feel a slimy metaphysical disgust that made me shudder from head to toe and want to scream, “Ewwwwww!” and run home to shower it off my psyche.
This did not happen.
There was some research involving mythology and more about nomenclature and language.
There was a lot of sitting around waiting to make justice. Do justice? Affect justice? Effect justice? Justify justice? There was a lot of sitting around.
I can say that I am not hopelessly blocked: I was able to write a scene.
It is an important scene because it's not a throw-away moment. This must appear in the final work. It's a simple thing that moves one character from one place to another – which requires little more than standing, putting a foot ahead of another, and letting momentum take its toll. But there is more to it!
The character is unaware it is undergoing a sort of transformation and in this scene the reader is given its first clue that something is afoot. Something evil, in fact. Or maybe just sinister, perhaps evil is too strong a word.
(Hmm, lies. These are lies!)
In writing the scene, I was able to convey this, allude to the action preceding it and even managed to add a moment of comedy.
The scene, in short, is a success! The problem is that, while it brings me closer to introducing the Big Bad, it stops just short. And therein lies the question that grabbed me and owns me right now: how much foreplay can you do with your reader before you introduce them to the Big Bad?
Do I hand out tidbits or do I push him out into the open, effectively giving the reader a horrendous full frontal beast? Do I seduce them and then shake them into the horror of what this creature truly is? Or is he far less scary than I think he is right now, and will I be playing the literary equivalent of John Williams' “Jaws” leitmotif simply to find later he is just shadows and mist?
The problem is that he hasn't told me yet. I think that he lies... I'm fairly sure he's still lying to me now! He is a shadowy form that exists in this dark, foggy forest and he wants to pull me there. I insist he can tell me from over there, I can hear him. He's trying to trick me. I just know it!
I'm not blocked, I'm cautious. (You're welcome.)