Sunday, September 20, 2009

Do you skip to the good parts?

So you're writing. Maybe it's a newbie, fresh out of your warped, writerly brain. Or maybe you and your WIP have been involved for some time.

Regardless, you have The Scene in your head. The one that you know is going to be amazing once you get to it, but you're just not there yet. Or maybe it's not The Scene, but, rather, a dozen or so scattered scenes that don't cohesively fit one after the other and won't make sense without 5 chapters of preparation.

Do you (a) keep writing, piece by piece, step by step, until you reach The Scene(s), or do you (b) skip the appetizer and plunge into the main course/favorite side dish/yummy dessert?

Lately, I've tried (a). I thought, "Jess, you need to stop being so impatient. Write through the grit so the fun part is more rewarding." But this process has been frustrating. I end up sighing and staring off in space and thinking even more about The Scene(s) and, before I know it, I'm playing online Scrabble.

So next week, I'm resolving to try the whimsical approach. Write what I want, when I want it, and put the puzzle pieces together later.

What about you? Do you think I'm crazy? What do you think works best?


Abby said...

If I have a scene that I feel passionate about, I just write it, whether I've gotten to that point or not. It's too distracting otherwise. I can always go back and slug through the boring stuff later. ;)

Jamie D. said...

Over the course of this year, I've come to the conclusion that if I'm bored writing it, readers will be bored reading it. So I try to make something happen in every single scene that I *want* to write - and want to read.

Since I've started doing that, I don't get impatient for the big, climatic scenes anymore, because I'm generally either already interested in the scene I'm on now, or trying to figure out how to make it interesting.

Lots of people can write out of order, and do it well. I just can't - I'm a linear thinker, and thus, a linear writer. :-)

Good luck!

Lisa and Laura said...

We've never tried writing out of scares the pants off of my organized, Type-A self.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've written bits and pieces of scenes when inspiration hits, but by the time I get to writing the whole scene, it all ends up being dramatically changed. Basically I'm a linear writer. :D

TereLiz said...

I jump ahead, always. Even if it's just a line of dialog I don't want to forget. Work for me. Sometimes it's easier to work backwards for me, too.

jessjordan said...

Wow, what a great response! It's good to hear that different strokes work for different folks. I love that there's no formula for good writing. Just a lot of personality, dedication, and heart. :)