Oh, the glorious breakthroughs that happen when research comes to my rescue like the White Knight of Bridge-Gap.
No, I have not yet finished writing The Scene. But at least I have figured out what in the hell the heroine’s brother is playing that is about to ruin them both, and knowing the specific game will add enough structure to the amorphous scene of “he loses” that I can actually get somewhere in putting it into words.
What I’m saying is, I just put boards under the back tires of my mudhogging truck and now have a ramp out of the mudpit. It’s still a long, dirty careful drive to get clear of the hole I dug myself into, but at least I’ve got a bit of traction now.
Anyway, reading multiple sources across multiple days was what really helped me decide on a game. I was intrigued by the sound of loo, but the first three descriptions of the game implied such small stakes that I didn’t see it as a viable option (plus it comes up as a parlor game in Jane Austen, how could it be the ruin of a professional gambler?). I needed a game where the bets could be anted up to astronomical heights, and was leaning toward brag. But when I sat down to write tonight, I couldn’t remember why I hadn’t liked loo and went to look up how to play it again. I chose a different site than I had gone to previously by accident, probably my fourth or fifth source on how to play loo, and it contained a brief differentiation between limited loo, in which the loo (the losing penalty) is the same as the buy-in, so the penalty for losing remains low, as does the total pot; and unlimited loo, wherein the loo is equal to the pot total, essentially increasing the stakes at a linear rate. In 11 hands the pot is ten times its initial size. There was the kind of ramping up of stakes and losses that I had been looking for!
I’ve now got the scene started. The parts that come next have progressed from utter vagueness to shifting outlines–still not completely defined and set into stone, but becoming clearer with every run through the scenario with this new information.
Now I am out of excuses. I will simply have to face the fact that this scene terrifies me to write because it is so important to the whole story, and just get on with it. Ignorance is a much more excusable roadblock than fear…even if it’s also one that can be conquered more easily.
If I start screaming, “Fezzik! Fezzik, I need you! He’s getting away from me! Fezzik, PLEASE!!!” will my muse show up to help with this one?