Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Work habits

Any young or new writer must develop work patterns that work for them. I think the same is true for any project. The methods of how we work are unique to individuals.

I found myself inspired to write different scenes for my different characters and as a young writer, I never knew if this would be effective or not.

I started a big binder and wrote every scene on looseleaf paper and organized them in chronological order according to when the scenes happened in the story. This lead to some wonderful scenes, but I never got around to writing the "between bits."

In my current work, I don't allow myself to skip around for this very reason. It feels like I get off track.

But sometimes, when conditions change and you need a fresh outlook or a pause, skipping around on a storyline can help you reconnect with a character.

I have rewritten chapter fifteen of Courting Apparitions three times in the last week or so. Now, to propel myself through the changes in that chapter that made it difficult to write right, I am ALSO writing chapter seventeen.

Chapter fifteen is her point of view.
Chapter seventeen is his.

So looking at both side's simultaneously, even if his chapter is a couple days in the future, is helping me understand her behavior and what she needs to do to make his reaction what it is in chapter 17.


  1. I've only done the skipping around thing a few times, and always with short stories. I found, too, that it was harder then to get myself to write the between parts. But I completely agree, sometimes it's a great idea to mix it up when you need a fresh outlook or are just feeling stuck. Excellent blog post!

  2. In this case, the skipping is extra beneficial because part of what I keep *getting wrong* is √Čtienne's reaction to Basilie throwing him out. If I know how he feels in a later chapter, once she has done the ousting, it helps me understand how he acts and she responds during the act (when it's her perspective).