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

Yesterday was very productive. I found myself settling in to work on the area around chapters 9 and 10, moving pieces of them around and getting them to read like, well, part of a real book that you pull off the shelf. I took out stuff that was slowing or distracting, and stuck it somewhere else to deal with later. Also brought in dialog from elsewhere that now belonged here. The interesting thing was that I finally was able to get more deeply into these dialogs, with everyone participating and driving the story in interesting ways (including to the next story problem). This was a big change from the way these particular dialogs have been up till now; mostly they've been me writing about people exchanging information or my MC saying what he thought about everything while everybody else sank into the background.

So I'm wondering if I sometimes have to hit a certain point with a scene--get it into the right place in story and flowing with the story--before my writing brain can start to take on the task of six people sitting in the same room talking, each bringing their own different personalities and backgrounds and motivations into the equation.

Maybe it's a case of layering, similar to what I learned when I was working on that w-f-h novel and its fight scenes (the ones that nearly did me in). Maybe sometimes you have to get a scene in place to a certain degree--maybe sometimes it needs to have its place and purpose in the story flow--before other layers can start to develop naturally and cooperatively.

If that's true, I suspect the "sometimes" may have to do with how complicated the scene is. Fight scenes are complicated to write, and so are scenes with more than 3 characters. But in non-fight scenes with 1-3 characters, I've used dialogs to figure out the place and purpose of the scene in the first place.

I need to think about this some more. I'm not sure of all the variables involved. All I know is that I wasn't able to "get to" 4 or so of the characters in this scene until I got it hooked into the story in the right place and time.

The question is: Why now? What's different that enabled me to do this now? Is it just because I have a better grip on the story in general? Or is there something I can learn from this to help me avoid future dead ends and detours?

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