The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Today worked again on trimming my beginning into something that looks like a book. In other words, I am again blindly trying to integrate my usual process with a story that has an actual plot. At some point, this is bound to work; the two have to meet up, just because I'm smarter than a monkey.* I may be in my dotage by the time it happens, but eventually this will make a something readable.

The way my process affects my writing hit me this week in a conversation with a writer friend. Said WF is plot-driven. We were discussing revelatory scenes; scenes whose purpose is to reveal something to the MC. I realized that although I have written scenes like that in every one of my books, I don't remember them as such. I have to think really hard to even be able to name one.

With a plot-driven WF, those scenes exist in order to reveal something: "In this scene, Character X learns such-and-such." To me--because of the way I think--whatever the scene reveals isn't that important. What matters to me is how the character reacts. I remember those scenes because of how he felt, how he was hurt, how his pity or liking was evoked or his interest heightened or his outlook changed. I don't see those scenes in terms of story, exactly, but in terms of how the character responded emotionally.

Right now I'm sort of stuck between wanting--needing--to respect my own process, and knowing that I can't wander around writing lazily forever. It's not productive to work against myself, but some point the ms has to be pulled together. It's hard to recognize when I'm working against myself and when I'm imposing limits on my own self-indulgence.

The goal is to enjoy writing, and to learn. But it's also to end up with a published, readable book.

*one of my writing mantras

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