Posted in NaNoWriMo, updates, Writing

NaNoWriMo – Skipping Scenes

Day three and 5k words down, 45k to go. For some reason, it’s getting harder and harder to write those 1,600 or so words each day. It probably has to do with the fact that I don’t usually write the same amount of words each day. I guess it doesn’t help that I’m still working on rewriting Crimson Queen through the month of November or that I’m updating my Wattpad story on a weekly basis. I seem to have put too much on my plate. What can I say? I’m an overachiever at times.

I almost want to count my word count of those stories but I won’t. Personally, I think that would be cheating on my part. It’s just this mentality that I have where all 50k words must be part of one story as oppose to other projects. It’s just my way of thinking. For better or worse, I’m going to keep doing this until I can’t anymore.

Today, however, I will say that I was surprised by my story. Let me explain. As I struggled to continue the story from where I stop yesterday, a different and unrelated scene came to my head. It had nothing to do with the main story. I still don’t know if I’ll include it in the final draft but I’m not worried about that. I just knew that my mind wasn’t as exhausted after a long work week as I thought it would be and proved to me that there were still some creative juices up there. I put these creative juices to good use.

Writing a story doesn’t have to be linear. It is okay to skip around or take a break from the main story. When a story becomes painful to write and pulling out air is the next stage, something has to change. I’ve had this happened to me many times. I’ve gotten so stressed out about continuing the story that I don’t give myself a chance to take a deep breath and step back. Today, however, it was different.

For the second half of my daily writing goal, I typed up an emotionally charged scene between my two main characters. My fingers flew across the keyboard and my wrists started to hurt but I didn’t stop. This scene was important to me and my characters. I had to put it on ‘paper’ before I forgot. While the story didn’t progress much, I got to try an extra seven hundred words just for writing an unplanned scene. The words just poured out of me and I didn’t care if it related to the main story or not. I was skipping scenes and that was fine.

If writing unplanned scenes is something that gets me to write and discover my characters and more of my plot then so be it because eventually, those scenes can link together to become a cohesive story.  Some scenes may not be used but at least I wrote something. I gave the writer and creator inside me an opportunity to create and step away from the story that had started to ‘bog’ me down.

It works with writer’s block too. You’re not sure how the story will progress so why not put your characters in another situation, in another scene, and see what happens? It doesn’t even have to be part of the story. Not really. What if they would have done something completely different at the beginning of the story? Where would they be now? How would the rest of the story work out? Not only do you get distance from the current story and give your mind a break, but it might just help get those creative juices flowing again.

You’re still writing. You’re using those characters and world. Nothing has changed. Not really. It almost feels like writing fanfiction. Almost.

In the end, different methods work for different people. One way may work better for one person than another. It’s all a matter of how you write. Will I be using these extra words towards my daily word count? Yes I will.

Posted in Methods, Writing

Media Muse

Recently, I have been doing research . . . of watching television shows. While everyone has different view on shows and different opinions of them, we can’t deny that there is something about a particular show that draws you in. As a writer, I wanted to explore that and to used it in my writing. Writing scripts, I believe, is just as difficult as writing anything else.

There’s less room to explain and each scene and piece of dialogue have to contribute to the story. It’s the same as writing but there’s the time frame to think about. Saying that, I recently watched MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles and I was in awe. Usually with fantasy, it can be difficult to picture how the world looks and the characters. I have a lot of respect for fantasy authors because I know how difficult it can be to write for the genre. I’m trying to work on my own fantasy novel and I’m stuck in the planning phase.

This show, like films, nudged my brain into thinking visual again. I started to play out scenes in my head instead of concentrating on all the details. Sure the details are important but I let myself become overwhelmed and the planning made my muse give up. So, watching the first episode I started to twist up the scenes and molding them to fit my characters. Not only that but I wanted my idea and story to compete with the show. How could I get my characters to jump off the screen (pages in this case)? What made this show so interesting to watch? Of course, they have Terry Brooks books to go off of but in its own right, I liked what I was seeing.

It’s not only shows that put a fire in me that makes me pick up a pen and start writing. Films, novels and video games all put a spark in me when they’re well written, made, etc.
So, next time you’re watching your favorite show, watching a movie, reading, playing a gsme, stop and think about why you like it. What makes you go back to it time and time again?

What shows get your creative minds going? What do you steal from them? Until next time, Kassandra.