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  • March 10th, 2008 | 7:39 AM
Writing update - Plant Kid

This weekend I did something I've never done before - I wrote the last scene in a book long before the end of the book was in sight.

It wasn't intentional. I didn't sit down and say wow, let's write the last scene in the book because, heck, I don't really even know what this book is about - yet. But I am continuing on my bit by bit method of writing these three stories at once by just trying to write a single scene every night before bed. Of late they have all been in the plant book and that's okay. The character is very real to me and, I almost hesitate to say this, but I may have found his voice which goes a long way to bringing a book to life.

Friday night I knew I wanted to write a scene about the MC and a particular plant. So I did. And then I reread it, as is my habit before turning out the light and I realized that it was the very last scene in the book and suddenly I knew where I was headed. I have no idea how I'm going to get there but that's okay, I have a goal for this kid.

Saturday night's scene was prompting by watching my husband spend most of his Saturday pulling weeds in the yard. So I set the MC to pulling weeds. And in the process of writing the scene I had that wonderful experience where, before you can even get the words down, you can see the whole scene unfold in front of you. I gave him a simple task to do which set something else in motion which created a conflict that I needed but didn't know how to orchastrate.

Sunday night's scene was an apology that was not accepted.

I have no title for this book. I don't even know if I have the main character's name for sure and I'm not sure I know what his problem is or what he wants.

But I have scenes. And for now, that's enough.

There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 20 comments — Leave comment )
(Deleted comment)
March 10th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC)
It's the oddest way I have ever written a book but I'll take it. I think it is also all different because it is straight prose, no poetry which I spent the last few years working on.
March 10th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
It'll fall into place! I write scenes out of sequence too, but you have me beat on this one--i've never written the end ahead of time. :)
March 10th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
It's very strange and of course we know that it could end up not being the end at all since I'm just trying to get a crappy first draft but it's sort of nice to have some idea of where I'm headed.

Hope I can figure out how to link all those scenes together when it comes time. LOL
March 10th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
I might have to try that. Because I am stuck in the middle of a crappy first draft of my own and totally CLUELESS at this point.
March 10th, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
Well hey, you can write my transitions and I can write yours. :-)
March 10th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC)
It sounds wonderful so far! I love that moment, too, when things just unfold and flow and leave behind a creative high. Looking forward to the Plant Kid's story :)
March 11th, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
Isn't that just the best feeling, when the story takes over, even briefly, with a mind of its own? I never cease to be amazed (and grateful) when it happens.

And now I have a sub-plot too!
(Deleted comment)
March 11th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
It is so very strange, the constant barrage of curve balls. Interesting to know that your ending stuck. I wonder if mine will?

BTW, I just watched your amazing book trailer and all I can say is WOW! I hope it helps books fly off the shelf for you. By the time it got to the polar bear, I was shaking.
(Deleted comment)
March 10th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful weekend of writing--you've come so far from a few weeks ago, where you were trying for just a few notes.

In John Truby's book, The Anatomy of Story, he says to start the pattern of character change from the END, where the self-revelation happens. Then, when you know where that is, go back & see where your MC has to change FROM. The big historical event in my WIP has to come near the end, so I'm trying to look at the story this way. It's tricky, definitely tricky.
March 11th, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC)
Yes, I am grateful for the progress, that's for sure.

I think it would be hard (for me) to begin a book with the end in mind and then figure out where the MC has to change until after I wrote the book. Then I can see applying Truby's advice to the next draft. So often I don't know what the defining, black moment is going to be (though I suspect it in one of my three projects) until I have a crappy first draft.
March 10th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
I'm excited on your behalf, Susan. I hope you continue sharing your process as you work on these scenes.
March 11th, 2008 01:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for saying that. I never know for sure what I should post but I figure process always interests me so maybe it will interest someone else as well.
March 10th, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
Sigh. Your husband is pulling weeds? I'd sell my soul to see a weed right now. ;0)

Yea for you! I love the thought of just writing scenes here and there. I'm thinking I might try this over the summer months while the campground is busy. Whenever one of those in-my-head-movies starts to play, I'll try to get it down on paper. If nothing else, I'll still feeling like I'm writing . . .
March 11th, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
LOL on the weeds. I think the neighbors were mighty glad to see the four foot tall (I am not kidding) dandelion bit the dust.

I think the scenes in bits and pieces would be great for you when the campground is busy! You would be able to stay connected to your story. Index cards would be good too. You can always keep a couple in your back pocket and whip one out when you have a few minutes.
(Deleted comment)
March 11th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)
It's a bit disconcerting to write things out of sequence but I think I am finally, at least with one of these three books, able to just let it go and see what happens next.

And yes, they are beginning more real to me in the process which is good. I won't worry until I start to set an extra place at the table for them. :-)
March 11th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
Ugh. An apology not accepted. I'm sensing heartbreaker here...
March 11th, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC)
For a little while, yes. And then it gets better. And then, well . . .
(Deleted comment)
March 11th, 2008 01:57 pm (UTC)
Maybe so!
( 20 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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