Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Oh My, Your Scene is So Big

If you've been anywhere in the blogosphere or Twitter today, you'll know that it's the start of NaNoWriMo!

Last week I pledged to add 50 pages to my WiP this month. I realize this is a small goal compared to a 50k novel that the regular Nano-ers are doing. But considering this is my first one, I thought I'd start out with a modest goal so that I have a good chance of reaching it and hopefully blowing it out of the water.

On each week's posts this month, I will give you a word count update. Today I will start at writing at the 20,624 word mark. I hope to reach at least 36k by November 30. I'm sure I will learn some lessons along the way. This is still my first novel, after all.

Which brings me to what I'd like to discuss this week: writing the big scenes.

Last week, I came to a pivotal moment in my WiP. It's the moment my MC's world comes crashing down around her (it's actually where I'm going to pick up writing after I finish this blog post!). Here is what went through my mind:
  1. (Weeks prior) How should she find out? Who should tell her? How? When? ...
  2. *thinking, thinking, thinking* *weeks pass*
  3. OK, I should just start writing and see what comes out.
  4. *thinking thinking thinking* *puts it off* *slowly writes scene leading up to BIG SCENE*
  5. (Last week) *starts writing BIG SCENE*
  6. Hm, she ends up at this location with this person. OK, I'll go with this for now.
  7. Oh dude! Look who just walked in! (Yes, I frequently surprise myself)
  8. OK, so what should they say to each other?
  9. *thinking, thinking, thinking*
  10. *writes some awkward dialogue* (awkward for the characters - not awkward writing, I hope)
  12. Yes! She finally knows! *dances in chair*
  13. Aww, poor MC *sad face*
  14. How should MC handle this news? Scream? Cry? Laugh? Go on a shooting rampage?
  15. *writes MC's inner torment* *re-reads scene*
  16. *thinks writing stinks*
  17. Dang it! This scene is MUY IMPORTANTE. It has to smack the reader in the face!
  18. *fidgets* *adds a sentence or two*
  19. *whines to self*
  20. Should I come back to it later?
  21. No, no, no. I should make it GREAT the first time through. Don't be so LAZY.
  22. *stares at screen*
  23. Think like a best-selling author - what would THEY do?
  24. *squirms some more*
  25. That's enough for today. *closes WiP*
So that's where I am now. About to embark on step 26 and make this BIG SCENE and BIG BRILLIANT SCENE. Or, make it a solid scene and move on. (More likely the latter)

There's always the editing process, right?

Good luck with your NaNoWriMo endeavors!


Adam Heine said...

Sounds like me. One thing I've learned is that I can't make it great the first time through. Not because I'm not good enough (though that might be true), but because I have no perspective when I'm in the middle of the first draft. I can't tell what's good or not until the whole thing's done.

Good luck with your pledge!

Jenna Brossman said...

I love your "Oh, Dude! Look who just walked in!" revelation. Surprising yourself is the best! Good luck with the BIG scene :)