Avoiding a Cul-de-Sac in Writing

Only around 3K today, probably a little under.

Not superb, but while I was writing the scene led itself into another avenue I had not previously considered. Can’t complain about that. It’s one of the nicer things about writing when new stuff makes itself known within the work itself and you have to make a decision whether to include it or not.

I went ahead and wrote the new scene and it fit very well within the larger framework. I had to go slowly because I didn’t want to be wasting my time on something that wouldn’t work or I might throw away later. Well, I always might throw it away. That’s writing. Can’t complain about that, either. It’s the nature of the beast.

So I am of two minds about today’s word count. It should have been higher, but there was the added part of working with a new scene I hadn’t considered.

It’s not perfect. Nothing about the novel is perfect yet. But I feel it has a deep strength which can be improved with subsequent rewrites. I don’t mind moving ahead from a section that I know will need work later on. As long as it has an internal strength to it, something I know I will be able to shape and control in a later rewrite, I am okay. I don’t, however, move on from a scene when it is on life support. I don’t “write ahead” that way. I don’t write ahead period. But I certainly do not do that. I feel if I leave something so broken behind me in the story to that degree it actually hurts what comes afterward.

I think this is due to the fact I write in sequence. I don’t skip around the book writing a chapter here, coming back to write an early scene, skipping ahead to the end. I can’t write that way. I have tried. It doesn’t work for me. It works for other writers, but not me.

We all have to find our own avenues in writing. I think the key is making sure your avenue doesn’t become a cul-de-sac.

 

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12 Comments

  1. I’m the same. I can’t jump ahead either. I haven’t tried because I’m afraid I might miss something important and that might change the rest of the novel.

    Reply
  2. harrywrites

     /  November 29, 2012

    “We all have to find our own avenues in writing. I think the key is making sure your avenue doesn’t become a cul-de-sac.” So very true.

    Reply
  3. Crystal R. Martin

     /  November 29, 2012

    I work in the same manner. I am, it seems, unable to skip around while working on a story. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • I have tried it and it doesn’t work for me. It is a way other writers work, however. They have found success with it. But while I view the entire story holistically, I can’t seem to write it in any other way but a linear fashion.

      Reply
  4. This is the exact reason why I am afraid to write novels or anything longer than a short stories. I tend to get ahead of myself and then get confused about where I want the story to go. Good luck with your novel though! Very interesting blog so far πŸ™‚

    Reply
  5. This is the exact reason why I am afraid to write novels or anything longer than short stories. I tend to get ahead of myself and then get confused about where I want the story to go. That’s why I prefer to stick to research papers, blogs, and random tutorials and personal journals. I wish you good luck with your novel though! You have a very interesting blog so far so kudos to you, Hoover! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • I understand your concern. It’s more difficult to write a novel, or at least I think so. That’s why most writers consider novel writing as marathons. They often break it down into sections, and that helps them concentrate on getting the long-form work finished at last.

      There are lots of different ways to write. Yours is just as valid as any. You will be able to work on novels, though, I am sure. They can be intimidating at first, but believe in yourself and you can do it. Good luck with your writing, and thank you for commenting on the blog. πŸ™‚

      Reply

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