Thursday, April 09, 2009

Chronologically Challenged

There are probably as many writing processes as there are writers. One of the ways of writing is to work out of the chronological sequence, writing key scenes as they come up with little regard to where they occur in the storyline.

I am utterly hopeless in this.

While my brain may skip around like a metal ball in a pinball machine, my stories need to be written in one directions. From start to finish.

Right about now, I wish I could write without regard to chronology, because a scene is giving me fits. It's taken me days to get the few thousand words that represent about 30 minutes of story time. I know where I need to go and what the scene after this one is, but I can't just skip ahead with a note 'insert handwaving here to get Lydia from point A to B'.

Everything I write is influenced by what comes before it. Not so much the broad brush strokes of overall plot--those I loosely outline--but the more subtle character development and small but crucial plot points emerge as I am writing. They shift and morph what comes next in unpredictable (and therefore more satisfying to the writer) ways.

To skip ahead is to write with the character as she is 'now' in a scene that must needs come later and ignores all she will learn between the two.

So this scene is a plodder.

I'll get through it and to the next one. That's how it works in this neck of the woods, but I sure am jealous of those not so chronologically challenged right about now.

No comments:

Post a Comment