Don’t Over-think It

I got another scene done, that’s five! But it took a little bit because I was over-thinking it.

Here’s what happened:

My scene seemed kind of boring and I wanted to spruce it up so I read the dialogue chapter in Jordan E Rosenfeld’s Make a Scene and then I made notes and talked to my husband (who gave me the setting) and then I read the “Nice to Eat with You: Acts of Communion” chapter in Thomas C Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor. All in all that was good but bad because then it seemed like this tornado of things I had to get done and they were all swirling as tornados are apt to do and then I just kept starting the scene and it kept sucking because windy tornadoes suck (true fact, I live in Oklahoma, I can be an expert on this).

http://blog.jess3.com/2011/11/quakenado-hide-ya-kids-hide-ya-wife.html

SO I tried that “write it like a screenplay” idea I mentioned yesterday and bim, bam, boom, it came out of me like a slimy little fishy from a mommy fishy (no, they don’t all lay eggs, I think). So then it was quite easy to go back and add some more necessary parts. In the end, I liked it, I worked in a Peter Pan quote and reference to my Guy-Protagonist. It was a weird scene because I had to work it so that it made sense in lieu of some odd factors for example: M was asking W for something he had been against all their lives. Luckily, W is too cocky to think too long and hard on it. I eventually worked in everything I wanted to. I might work in during a revision an allusion to W’s future struggle.

The bottom line is I think of myself as an organic writer. I have a really hard time creating with such odd directions. I need to find a way for it to just flow from me. The planning helped but also hindered. So keep that in mind when you’re working on something. There are lots of books on how OTHER people do things, but in the end you’re not those people–you’re you and you have you’re own way of doing things. I like to read things and take them in like a plant taking in sunlight. If I try to force it, it’s like I’m trying to photosynthesize with fire–it just won’t work.

Scene Word Count: 1008 | Total Word Count: 5680

I also found this WONDERFUL word list that is amazingly useful when working on a dialogue chapter: Over 300 Ways to Say “Said”

How do you plan a scene? And what do you think of referencing other works of literature/film/art?

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6 thoughts on “Don’t Over-think It

  1. Sabrina A. Fish

    I make a scene outline of the main thing that needs to be addressed/accomplished in each scene in order to accomplish the overall goal for that chapter. Then I write. My brain connects the dots and the story flows out of me like warm honey…smooth. Sure, it will need to be revised, but I don’t hold up my flow by worrying about it at this time. This is my favorite part of the writing process. To me, it seems easy. Revision? Now that is when the process becomes more difficult. I am figuring it out and finding it much more enjoyable the longer I write, but the initial creating process will always be my favorite.

    As for reference books, I have my favorite few, but I prefer to actually read successful authors within my genre to see how they make inciting incident, plots, subplots, and twists come together. What better way to learn than from those who do it really well.

    Reply
    1. melanie_unabridged Post author

      I think I might go with my one sentence descriptions and let it flow for my first draft. I kind of want to make notes of things I’d like to add later on since I feel like I open up in the revision process.

      I do need to get my reference books back from my friend *ahem* 😉 because I have one by Orson Scott Card is an amazing writer and I’d like to see what he says about the genre. On the other hand, I may just wait until my draft is done and apply all the techniques/ideas through revision.

      I haven’t asked what your thoughts were on those books though. Remind me to next week!

      Reply
    1. melanie_unabridged Post author

      They are very welcome! Thanks for your hard work. It’s really nice to have a book that can be read all together but also used as a reference book. Thank you for stopping by.

      Reply
  2. katkasia

    Totally agree with you about over-planning having the potential of becoming an impediment to the flow of writing. I find that I write best if I write the way I travel: I plan a general direction, but the twists and turns that get me there are much more interesting, and generally unplanned.

    Reply
    1. melanie_unabridged Post author

      That’s a good metaphor for it. Except, I always overplan when I travel too, haha. And then skip things because there are other better things out there.

      Reply

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