This is a question I get asked almost every November, usually from someone who has not had to endure listening to me rattle on about craft. Asked the same question time and again I looked at my writing self for the answer.
I would whole heartedly say that I don’t, but I do. I would love to say I am free enough to be able to write scenes and then somehow piece them all together but, alas no.
I had a friend who would write down all of theses arbitrary scenes and then piece them together into a story. I never really got how she did it. Logically, one scene builds on the next, drives the next. Did you know that movies are not shot in order? I think this would make me crazy, how can you deliver a scene without having experienced the moments before? It is simply not logical.
When I am thinking of a story I in the beginning it is all about Beginning, Middle and End. My writing brain would like to say that from there a I build and it is somewhat true, however while building conversations, images, conflicts will pop into my brain and become part of the building as they are sign posts.
For me, I see scenes and or pieces of dialog destinations. I will jot down the image and then figure out how the scene fits into the story, not the other way around. How do I get to where I am, point A, to where I want to be, point B.
At times this is a struggle. For example, I am at a certain point in my new piece, point A, and I know where I want to go. However, I am having challenges getting there in a way that I am satisfied with. I have written the scenes at least several dozen times now, scrapping each one. This is my version of writer’s block.
I kinda relate it to a map app on my phone. I want to go to Las Vegas. I type in Las Vegas Nevada. The Map will show me directions on how to drive or walk from my location in Oklahoma.
This is a 19-hour trip, we should make the most of our time and see some stuff on the way like, Roswell, and the Grand Canyon. When I am building my map to Las Vegas (My story) I add sub destinations along the way. The more destinations you have the more detailed your map (story) needs to be. I thought of the Grand Canyon first, not Roswell although Roswell is first on the route. The brain has its own logic.
Thinking of your story like a map with several destinations will help in the overall outline and cause and effect analysis.
Whatever way you write is completely unique. Everyone’s brain works differently. Planster or Panster. The importance is you write! Just get it out, don’t let any of these self-reflections you may have about your own process stop you from writing. There is no wrong way to write. The only wrong way is to not write at all.
Aggh! Writers Block! Ack!
Devil, Child, Devil Child!
But that is a tale for a different time…