I got the title for this post after watching the 90's animated movie 'Ferngully', in which the character Batty (played by Robin Williams) falls backward out of a tree as he says, "Oops...gravity works!".
I remember watching the movie as a kid and loving that particular bit of dialogue. Today, it has inspired a blog post.
Gravity is one of those natural laws that shapes the world around us. It allows us to participate in sports where we work against it - (think pole jumping - not really a great idea on the moon), use it to provide a thrill (bungee jumping, skydiving), and holds us to the ground.
It can also work against us. Everybody has a memory of a smashed dish or broken keepsake, slipping from their fingers and falling in slow motion towards the floor.
And if you asked my daughters opinion, she'd tell you there should be less gravity and more pixie dust, so she could fly like the girl from the Tinkerbell movie.
Whatever our feelings or experience, gravity is an inherent part of life on earth.
I'm learning, too, in writing, there are some natural laws that no author can escape, no matter their skills or experience. One of those natural laws is the slump, sometimes referred to as writer's block. It's that point in writing a manuscript that the job has gone from exciting and exhilarating, to tedious and cumbersome.
For me, this usually comes as I approach the middle of a story: I've gotten past the initial excitement of exploring a new setting, meeting new characters and inciting some interesting dilemmas, but not far enough in that I've made it to the thrilling feeling of writing a climax and tying up loose ends.
By this point, my story has usually changed quite significantly from the outline and road map I'd laid for it in the planning stage - those characters seem to take on a life of their own and steer the story in a different direction than I may have intended. Trying to bridge the gap between what I initially envisioned, and where the story is headed, can be a chore.
Thus, the writer's slump. And I don't think I'm alone in this experience. The NaNoWriMo talks these past few weeks have all dealt with this natural tendency for writers to get stuck. I've seen the topic on many a blog post and writing forum. I think its safe to say that at one time or another, every writer deals with a slump.
And if you've read the same articles I have, you'll notice the advice is always the same: the best antidote is to just keep writing. Put your butt in your chair and make your fingers move (or pen) across the keyboard (or paper) until words begin to form.
If all else fails, take a break - go out and experience something exciting that life has to offer - like gravity defying thrill rides, or bungee jumping! Or better yet, send your protagonist on a skydiving expedition. It might get the adrenaline pumping through your story again.
Because, hey - gravity works.