November 13th, 2007

amd: meditating

more jibber jabber about writing

So about half of my waking thoughts these days are about the order in which certain events occur in my novel. I'm kind of fascinated (and terrified) by how scenes can be layered and arranged in such a multitude of ways with each variation creating a slightly different emotional or dramatic effect. Does this argument occur before the party or after? Or during? Or would that make the scene too busy? Should this betrayal follow immediately from that? I've probably sketched fifty different mini flowcharts of scenes in order to hammer out their order. And yet they're still changing on me. I'll think one section is fully planned, then realize I've got some crucial moment occuring before the event that causes it and have to reshuffle that whole section from scratch. It's a little like scrabble, a little like building a house of cards.

But eventually, there's a very satisfying moment where they all click together and I feel like I've stumbled across the way the scenes were meant to be arranged.

I have a lot of respect for writers who discover their story as they're typing it, but I can't do it. As oppressed as I feel with all the micro-decisions that come with writing each and every sentence and paragraph, I'd go out of my mind if I had to deal with those macro-decisions at the same time.