Scenes don’t stand alone in books. They fit, they move, they’re living parts of the organism that is a book. Ideally.
But for them to work like that requires vision and a sense of the larger story, of the whole. When I started writing, they just popped onto the page without much of that vision-thing going on. Sure, it required creativity, commitment and work, and it wasn’t until about 70 pages that my REAL story reveal itself to me.
As soon as it did, it became clear that I’d be hacking out scenes that were great but didn’t belong in this story. Anything that doesn’t strengthen the story risks weakening it.
Well, once I sensed my real story, it became much easier to write. The scenes fit and they had direction.
But then again came a point where I felt that I couldn’t move forward but sloggily, because the scenes didn’t fit. Oh yeah, I could get a scene to fit the ones before, sure. But they didn’t fit the future. I knew they weren’t connecting the past to an intrinsic whole. They didn’t have integrity. They didn’t have vision.
That was the squelchy, muddy bit I had a couple of weeks ago. I’d hit the middle of the book.
After a hard period where I tried a bunch of different methods, finally it came back. The vision, so obscured and hazy and just a mite too ungraspable, suddenly returned. 🙂
Does that mean I know every turn before I take it? Nope. But the integrity has returned. Scenes fit front and back, and as I clarify certain questions from earlier in the book, my current situation “on the ground” becomes clearer and clearer, and the possible future paths more distinct and urgent.
Relief. Relief, to be facing urgency again. Relief to feel compelling dark corners again. Relief to feel integrity again. Relief.
And that sort of mad euphoria that is fear and anticipation while writing. 🙂 I’ve not lost that magic feeling. 🙂