Thursday, February 28, 2008
Writing Lessons From Skipping the Middle
I was having a real problem with a middle scene in That Roman Story Set Entirely in Greece. Basically, I just flat out didn't know what I wanted it to say. It was one of the scenes that describes the 'why' of the other scenes. All this stuff is happening and the reader is being taken along for the ride but I always want some kind of revelatory scene in which the characters come to a sense of completion with the story. You know, the 'why.' Anyway, the scene was refusing to shape itself and I wrote a couple of weak attempts but wasn't happy with them. Then I decided to skip it and write the last scene. That's when it gelled. That's when I figured out what the middle needed to say. So when you're stuck with a scene that just isn't working, skip it and write the next scenes. Something will bubble up and answer the questions you couldn't answer before.