Monday, July 28, 2008

Out of Order Scenes

I know I promised a post from the bloggable topics, but that just isn't happening tonight. I almost forgot to post entirely, as it was a busy day. A productive day, but busy.

Which leads me to today's topic.

When I write a book, I tend to write it from Chapter One to The End. Start to finish. But, when I hit my slump last winter, a few people suggested either writing from end to beginning, or just writing whatever scenes came to mind.

Wait... write a book out of order?

Interesting ideas. Very interesting, actually.

So, I did try it - working from end to beginning. It was a little weird, but it did help me out of my slump. And when I broke out, I went to the beginning and wrote that as well. Now, I just need a middle and I'll be on my way.

That story's on hold for now, because I started another one as well. No, I'm not stuck on either, but the second idea was almost poking holes in my brain and I just had to let it out. Now I've got two WIP, which is fine with me. I like having several things going on at once, that way there's always a change of pace, and that can be a good thing.

Now, the second story hit me when I finished up After the Storm. It involves a secondary character from that book who demanded his own story. I'm about thirty-five pages into it, and it's going very well, keep your fingers crossed.

I tend to do a lot of brainstorming as I'm drifting off to sleep - that's where the idea for the new book came from, and where a few others have come from as well - and the other night, I knew how the first love scene between the hero (Robert) and the heroine (currently named Regan, but there's a good chance that will change) was going to play out. Or, how I wanted it to play out, anyway. Trouble was, I'm nowhere near that love scene in the book.

But then, I was reading Joanna Bourne's blog and she had a Q&A post about My Lord and Spymaster. In it, someone had asked about a love scene (I'm in the midst of reading it right now and haven't gotten to that particular scene, but I am looking forward to it). Well, Ms. Bourne answered that she hadn't even planned on leaving that particular scene in the book, and that it was one of the first she'd written for the book.

Now, I took that to mean it was one of the first scenes in total that she wrote. Maybe she meant one of the first love scenes - but either way, it got my wheels spinning. I had this scene pictured perfectly in my mind.

Why not write it?

So that's what I did while the Boy napped and the Girl played in the pool. I sat in the Florida room with the ol' laptop, and pounded out the entire scene as I saw it in my head. When I finished, I had nearly 15 pages (love scene and aftermath, a two for one!) and about 4,500 words written. Cool.

Now, I know I'm at least 200 pages away from needing this scene, but that's okay. I know how I'm getting Robert and Regan to this scene - I just need to get those words on paper as well. And who knows, I might end up writing this book as the scenes come to me, and in no particular order. I've never done that before, but it is something I'll keep in the back of my mind. I can always arrange and rearrange as I revise.

And who knows? It might take me in a direction I never would have seen otherwise, and that could be fun.


Mary B said...

Hooray for out of order stuff! I do that sometimes. I did a lot of it on the cruise. Those windswept decks were the perfect place for writing seduction scenes and intense conflicts. Not so much for the political sniping and infighting. But my office? In the cubicle? Oh yeah. Bring on High Chancellor and his cronies. B!tchfest time.

Glad I'm not the only one who does this.

Kim said...

It was a lot easier to just write the scene, than to figure out how to get to that scene. Maybe I need to write the whole book this way... ;)