One Writer’s Journey

November 14, 2014

Write the wreck

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:00 am
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Caged Graves by Dianne Salerni

My favorite book by Dianne Salerni who recommends that you write your problem scene and use it to learn something more about your story.

Have you ever gotten stuck on your work in progress because you know there are problems with the upcoming scene but you don’t know how to fix them?

Recently I read a post by Dianne Salerni where she recommends writing this place holder scene.  You know it isn’t THE scene that you need to write so it is a placehold until you get things figured out.  She recommends writing this scene because through the act of writing it you will probably work through some of the problems.

I wasn’t sure how seriously I bought into this until I critiqued a chapter for a friend.  Kate is writing a middle grade novel in which a secondary character commits suicide.  She’s mired somewhere in the middle and trying to figure out how to get started again.

Instead of fighting to write a scene that is still nebulous in her mind, she jumped to the climax.  She knows what needs to happen in the climax and this enabled her to start laying out the words.

But a surprising thing happened.  All along, she’s suspected that she needs to add a subplot.  She hadn’t decided what to add or how to do it, but in this scene not only does the main plot climax as the characters find out about the suicide, the subplot also climaxes.  Yep.  She didn’t know exactly what that subplot would be, but now she has it all tied up.  She simply needs to go back to the earlier chapters and lay things into place.

When you’re stuck, pick a scene and start to write.  It might not be the next scene, but if you write you will not only make progress on your word count, you will make progress on the story as your subconscious hands you the solution to your problem.






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