Thursday, December 18, 2008

Leaping into Disorder & Chaos

I'm at a juncture in my sequel writing where I'm ready to skip two scenes. One is a party with teens and I'm just not in the mood to do a bunch of mini character sketches so I can fluff out the scene. I just want to drive forward and get to more of the plot stuff. I know what I want to happen at this party and have that in mind, but do not have the interest in writing it, at present. And also in the same chapter, I have this other scene with a amnesiac hired gun getting a call for his next target that I'm not in the mood to write. My inspiration is calling me elsewhere, further down in the book. So, I'm going to make the leap.

I have worked out of order in the past and when I've jumped to the spots that were churning in my mind and tugging at me emotionally, even though I was far from getting to them in my story, I ended up creating some of my best work. If I had waited, I would've lost something in the quality I just know it.

In Kings & Queens, a suspense novel I wrote with a romantic center, I had this idea for a love triangle and I knew exactly who I wanted to end up together. But when I got two chapters in, I knew I was wrong about the couple and that two different people belonged together. So excited was I at this new discovery, I jumped to the second to last chapter and wrote a heart-wrenching fallout. I cried as I wrote it because I had just found this beautiful love and then destroyed it. I'm pretty demented and sadistic, huh? That's what makes good fiction though. Conflict. Heartbreak. The possibility that things won't work out as planned or desired.

After writing that scene, I wrote my last chapter, my epilogue, because I needed to know exactly how it ended and my epiphany had changed everything. My novel is very twisty and complex with various interwoven threads and at least twelve minor story questions/mysteries that are woven around the main story question. I needed an endzone before penning the rest so I could know what plays and moves I needed to engage to get there successfully.

By jumping out of order and going with the raw passion in the moment rather than sticking to step-by-step rigidity, I created a work I am certain is so much stronger than it would've been had I waited. I would've lost some of the sadness, some of the sweetness and overlooked characters who were only meant to be fillers or obstacles.

Work in whatever way is best for you, but if your pen is itching to jump around, don't be afraid to break free and do it. If you end up with junk, that's what revision is for. But more than likely you'll end up with the best stuff you've ever written because it's birthed out of pure inspiration and burning drive. If you ignore the call and wait, you could lose your grasp on what was once vital, raw, captivating, energetic, ecstatic and heartbreaking in your mind. You'll have a scene certainly, but it won't be as good as the one you originally envisioned and maybe you won't even realize why. You'll just know it's lacking somehow, that it's not everything it could and should have been.

Movie directors generally don't film chronologically. Break out of your structured ways if your story or your pen or your characters is demanding it. Get chaotic and crazy. Go with your gut and your heart, even if it's not the way you normally work. When there's unrest and pull, it's for a reason. You shouldn't ignore it. You could lose out. Follow your passionate urgency. Just write.

~Signing off and sending out cyber hugs.

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