There’s something immensely satisfying about finding a successful author who finds their characters sitting around doing the same sorts of frustrating things that mine do, instead of furthering the plot:
Dave McKean phoned me up today. I got unexpectedly testy when he commented on a couple of scenes in Mirrormask that were just two people talking, and on the problem of getting those scenes to have some kind of narrative drive. The reason I got testy was, as I eventually explained to him, because I’ve spent a day fighting with an uncooperative novel and every scene I wrote kept turning into two people having a conversation, and it was driving me nuts. It wasn’t even that they were sitting around having interesting conversations. They were telling each other things the reader had already seen occur, and I felt powerless to stop them…
“You’re not allowed to do that any more,” said Dave. “Something else has to happen.”
It gives me hope.