Sunday, January 04, 2009

Linear Writing, or Any Which Way You Can?

"Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand." ~George Orwell

I'm a plotter when it comes to writing, 100%. I create outlines, I know where the major conflicts are going to be, I know (pretty much) how the ending will wrap up.

But with Entwined, this very messy literary romance I've been tackling the last 6 weeks, I haven't done much of that. I didn't do character sketches. I had a vague idea of the major conflicts, but I didn't think about where/when they would happen or how the story would end. I wrote a series of scenes I thought would be important to include, and away I went. And that's been fine for about the first 35K words...trouble is now I'm spinning in circles and not sure where the storyline needs to go from here.

Hmm. Brief pause as Allie steps back from the keyboard and frowns.

Where to go from here? Outline? Keep writing scene by scene and see what falls into place? Let it sit for a while and come back with fresh eyes?

7 comments:

Margay said...

I'm curious. What made you fly by the seat of your pants on this one if you're usually a plotter? I'm curious because I'm a plotter myself.

Liz said...

Outline. But first write each scene you have - what happens, ect. I found a storyboard helpful.
Love the quote - so true.

MaryF said...

Happens to me every time. I end up writing the wrong ending, then rewrite it the correct way. I just never can plot to the end.

Allie Boniface said...

Margay, I tackled this one completely differently than usual just for kicks, actually. It was going to be a NaNo novel but then just turned into a "let's see how many words/scenes" I can write novel. Freeing in some respects, frustrating in others.

yo said...

Is what you have so far in sequence? If not, maybe you need to figure out where those pieces fit in the story and then figure out how to connect them if there are holes. And outline those parts.

Marianne Arkins said...

I'm a pantser all the way... I've tried plotting and just get annoyed and frustrated. The difference for me is that I always know the ending -- so it gives me something to aim for. In fact, I usually write the ending immediately after I write the beginning so I know where I'm headed. I just don't know the path I'll take to get there.

Chad Sayban said...

I love that quote...

...even if it doesn't hit a little too close to home. ;-)