Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Starting at the End

Wow.  It's been a busy week or so.  My poor blog feels neglected.

The writing continues, if not as smoothly as before.  I may blog about the life difficulties, and how I'm overcoming them in terms of writing later.  Let's talk about the actual writing itself.

The novel smacked me in the brain so hard it left a mark.  I started with an outline.  Less than three chapters in, I couldn't even see the original story.  This one is much better, but it means I didn't know where to go.  I knew an upcoming scene, but couldn't figure out how to get there.

What to do?  Take advice from this very blog!  That's what!

Some of you may remember a guest blog by C.C. Dowling.  If you haven't read it, do so now.  Seriously.  I'll wait.  It's right here: Three Lessons.

Her third lesson?  Social Networking.  Stick with me here, this is important.
Here's how she put it.

There's an amazing community of writers/editors/agents/publishers all available in one hundred forty characters or less.  What I've learned is that almost everyone is supportive and wants to help you succeed.
Here's the good part.  I've already networked with C.C.  I got to use more than 140 characters!  And she's an amazing writer, who's being published soon too, so there.

We're in a critiquing group together, so I told her my novel's issues.  She suggested, if I knew where things were going, I write that and then fill in the details.

See, when you read, you read in sequence.  Unless you're one of those people who skips to the end first, and if you are I'm shunning you for the rest of this post.

Writers are not constrained by this.  They don't have to start at the beginning and move chronologically through the piece until the end.  Want to write the middle first?  Write it.  I've heard this advice before, but it scared me.  Writing out of sequence?  Isn't that how madness starts?  Or the zombie apocalypse?

The novel had stalled though, and the short stories I kept writing became distractions from the larger work.  So I took her advice.

And it's like the writing world doubled in size.  It worked marvelously.  I knew what had to happen.  Suddenly, I just had to connect the pieces.  AND THEY FIT!

I've recently done the same thing when another short story stalled.  And frankly, I may write like this from now on.

Oh.  And the novel?  It still feels like it stalls after most of the scenes.  That needs to be fixed, but the good news is, I have a new technique to help fix it when that happens.

Thanks C.C.