Thursday, October 13, 2005

Scene Lists and the Value of Time

I've been working with scene lists the last few days (I know, these things are hard to define; my scene list is a numbered list of scenes, which seem to be lasting about 2.5 - 3 typed pages and list only basic actions and major stuff with lots of notes underneath about characters, and questions for myself-mostly about motivations and true needs/desires). I developed one for the 'rewrite' (post-draft) of my recently completed draft and also for the novel I will start in November for NaNoWriMo.

I'm not sure quite what to expect from writing after making a scene list (yes, I'm a NOVICE!). I'm certainly thinking a lot more about this second attempt before starting than I was with the first. Since I really can't use much of what I wrote for the first draft, I'm hoping that writing with an outline, and a better idea of the story arc and how the major ideas of the story will be expressed, will help me with this second one. Some say outlining helps free your mind from the 'mechanics' of the story so that you can write. I'm hoping that's how it will work for me.

One of the more beneficial things I'm learning right now is the value of time. The value of letting a night pass after you've had a flush of ideas to let all levels of your mind think about things for a little while, let the inconsistencies and the obvious structural problems, repetitions and faultlines in the plot reveal themselves. Obviously I'm not learning how to write shorter sentences.

Then there's stalling; I'm being all reverent or something towards the act of beginning the rewrite (I have a completed first draft of which I can use about 3% of actual writing). Like, if I wait another day the sudden answer to the tiny thing that will make the book umpteens more wonderful than if I didn't wait that extra day to think of that most wonderful thing... Isn't it pathetic? Anyway, the rules for NaNo state that you can't do any actual writing before Nov. 1. Meaning I should get off my friggin' ass (I mean, get on my friggin' ass?) and start with this rewrite, so I can be at least partway done with that when I start the new project!


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