Friday, 21 April 2017

Begin With The End


My writing desk is an old sewing machine. As you can see, I like sticky notes.
Whre the magic happens...sometimes.

Before I write a scene I let it stew in my mind for a few days, choosing which parts to keep and which bits to throw away. For me, nothing is more exciting than opening up the laptop to make that moment exist somewhere other than inside my head.

After the first paragraph, I usually stop and read it over—then I make that face like I'm smelling milk gone bad. I delete everything I just typed, and then I start again.

Then...repeat.

Before I know it, a half hour has gone by and my word count is zilch.

It's frustrating. I have the scene in my mind, I know where it's going. I can SEE the finish line, but I can't seem to get started.

I always like to to have a chapter end with a cliffhanger or one of those 'uh-oh!' moments when the character(s) are seemingly trapped/caught/driving towards a cliff.

Recently I changed things up and wrote the last paragraph of the chapter I was working on.

I discovered that when I focused on the cliffhanger or the 'uh-oh!' ending, it gave my writing momentum. Without pausing to edit what I had just written, I jumped to the beginning of the chapter and wrote until I met up with the awesome cliffhanger.

This is how I tackle most of my scenes now and it has made a huge difference in how much writing I can get done in a short amount of time. And when I hit that word count goal, each chapter ending is a 'yes!' moment for me.

What writing strategies work for you?


8 comments:

  1. That sounds like a good idea - I'll have to try it. I always have to know the end of a book before I start writing, but I hadn't thought of writing the end of a scene and working backwards from the 'cliffhanger' Thanks for the tip.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Hywela! Good luck with your writing.

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  2. Interesting idea. My style mimics your first style, and, ta-da, I get too little done. I will give this a shot. Thank you.

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    1. I hope you find it helpful. Let me know how it works out, Amity.

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  3. Good advice. I'll give it a try. I thought I used sticky notes, but you've got me beat.

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  4. Intriguing idea. I'm willing to try anything that encourages me to write faster. I too spend too much time cowering before my internal editor.

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    1. Shut off the internal editor, Nell! Tough love. There's no space for that voice in the first draft.

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