Friday, November 21, 2008

What comes easiest?

Had a great session of Drunk Writer Talk a few weeks back, and one of the things that came up was which scenes do we find the easiest to write?

For one of the Drunk writers it’s the conversation scenes between the hero and heroine, where they learn about each other and explore their feelings.
At which point, two, or possibly, three ciders into the evening, I grimaced and shouted to the entire bar, I hate writing those scenes.
For me, the easiest scenes, and the ones that in the end, need the least amount of work are the big action scenes, sometimes the big romance scenes between the hero and heroine. The scenes where they quietly explore their conflict and talk are hell for me. They take the most time, require the most editing and even in the end, I’m never happy with them.

Which is why I focus my plotting on big, dramatic events, where the hero and heroine have to learn about each other, while running for their lives, or fighting off villains. It’s why as a writer, I’m attracted to suspense. And knowing this helps me decide which books I want to write, and how I’m going to drive the story forward.

It also helps me move forward in my books. My current WIP has taken me FOREVER to write. I’ve had to re-write every scene pretty much, and I’m still only half way through. And too often I’ve spent a week on a scene, and thinking about which scenes stall me, they are always the quiet, introspective scenes.
So for the purposes of getting this draft finished, I’m not going to write the quiet scenes. I’m going to move forward by writing the big scenes, one after another, finish up and then decide how I’m going to connect the big scenes.

It’s a change in my process, as I’m normally a linear writer, but I’m getting desperate and perhaps a change in process is exactly what I need.

Anything to finish this draft.


Maureen McGowan said...

You go for it, girl!

Seriously, you might find either that you don't need as many of those scenes as you think you do... Or that they're much easier to write when you know what they're bridging between.

This is all so hard, and never seems to get any easier.

I've been reconsidering my answer that night. I think the easiest scenes are the ones where I have a clear idea going in what the characters goals are, what the conflict is, and where I need to get by the end of the scene. Doesn't matter if it's action or dialogue or sex... If I know where I'm going and feel good about it, the words come. Usually.

Margaret Moore said...

I feel your pain! Only in my case, it's the love scenes I find so tough. I'd rather write a fight or banter.

And I'm about to write an "orphan" scene -- a scene without the hero or heroine that I'm not yet quite sure where to put yet.

Sigh. If only I could figure out this writing stuff...

Amy Ruttan said...

Sounds like an interesting conversation! I picture you with a fist in the air, shaking it around.

Like you're cursing them or something. hehehe.

My easiest scenes are the sexual tension, the build up to the sex. The big "bang" as it were takes so little to write, it's the build up that can be tricky, but so much fun for me. I love those scenes.

Sinead M said...

Oh, good answer, Maureen. Nice.. that might have blown my mind a little bit.
Margaret, if you're still trying to figure out the whole writing thing, then we're all doomed to do so for pretty much forever... which in some ways could be a good thing.
I love good writer talk and if we figure it out, what we will talk about?
Amy, you write the scenes I suck at.. I'm fighting my jealousy right now..

Abby said...

Sinead, here is your official notice: You have permission to write out of order.

There are no writing police that will arrest you for not writing every page in sequence.

If there were, I would never finish anything.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I had a big moment during that conversation Sinead and I think I'll post on Sunday about it -- but I think we're really going to have to look at how to streamline our process. You've been writing every book the same way - and changing that right now, might just change everything for you. Do it. And if we change how we write these books - with our first step being focused on what we're good at -- I think it should work. Captalize on what's working and go from there!

Molly O'Keefe said...

Oh -- what scenes do I like to write the best? I like the emotional reveals. The conversations that change everything. Sometimes I like writing sex scenes, usually I hate it like poison. I feel silly awkward whenever I've had to write an "action" scene. I feel like everyone reading it can tell I just ripped off some bad episode of Law and Order.

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