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.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hmm, so I'm thinking that every writer may have a different base "layer" that they tend to start with when writing a scene. Some people tend to need a plot to build from, some need a setting; I generally just need characters or even just a strong feeling from a character I don't know yet. If I think about it, I see that I most often start with a base layer of either internal thought or of dialog. Then I flesh out and layer on physical grounding, setting, and last of all, plot. (not all the time, but more than other ways of working.)*

So it occurs to me that this may be something to consider, when I get to a "stuck" place. Maybe mixing it up a little and starting with different layers than I'm used to can help when I get in a writing rut. Like, say, if something's not coming easily, maybe I could back off and approach it from establishing setting first, or getting a physical bead on where everybody is and what they're doing. Or maybe I could start with an action.

I mean, I do do all these things, but maybe I could do it more deliberately sometimes to see what happens--to see if it gets the story moving and helps me reconnect. Something to think about, anyway.

*When I work, the thematic stuff may already be close to the surface in that initial layer of internal thought and non-plot-driven dialog, just because internal thought and non-plot-driven dialog are already halfway tapped into the character's growth and change. Something to think about is whether plot-driven writers tend to have to work harder to get to that layer of thematic depth and resonance than someone who starts closer to character. Is the thematic engine of a story as visibly close to the surface, if your mind works first in terms of "what's happening"? Is it harder not to lose track of? Maybe not; maybe I just have trouble recognizing theme in plot because of my own writing weaknesses.

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