Valerie Rutherford (fireflys_locket) wrote,
Valerie Rutherford

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Sometimes, you need to take a different approach...

Writing has been all over the place lately. Winter is usually a time where I'm more focused on planning out future stories than writing the ones I'm currently working on. Not sure why that is, but it usually works out, so I've been letting myself focus more on planning without stressing so much that I'm "not getting anything done". It's hard to measure success in the planning stages, which can leave me stressed. But this is still a vital part of writing. Not properly planning stories before I start them has usually led to bad results.

Speaking of that, between 8th grade and when I left school in 10th grade, I started maybe 5 or 6 original stories. Only 2 of those were successful. The rest got a few chapters in, then left me lost. Because although I usually had an ending and some major points figured out, I didn't know how to get from point to point. All of these stories had their connections to other stories, and I've always wanted to go back to them. I've since learned to let new ideas grow, usually for at least a few years, before I start writing them. This really works for me. Ideas just come to me over time. I let The Town of Raindrops grow, then I worked on an outline, and finally started writing it last year. I thought if I let these older stories sit, they'd start to grow, too. But they seem to be strangely stunted by being started too early, and they just aren't working the way newer stories do.

But I refused to just give up. And last year, I finally had a realization about one of those stunted stories that really brought it together. I thought that meant it was ready to go, so I recently started an outline for it. The outline for The Town of Raindrops came together in only two sessions. I had all the important things figured out, so I just had to fill them into chapter paragraphs to see if I had enough to write the story. And I did. However, this other story hasn't worked that way at all. I've spent 10 minutes or so here and there mostly staring at the Word file, only occasionally typing something. It's been very disheartening.

I mentioned my issue to a writer friend, and she suggested trying to write out a few bits of scenes to see if that triggered something. So, I did write out a scene not really knowing exactly how it was going to go, and I felt really good about it when it was done. That one scene didn't fix my outline problem, but it at least made me feel like I'd made some progress. We talked again about this story, and I started to wonder if the usual collect ideas, write an outline, and write the story from beginning to end plan is going to work this time. I've heard of writing out scenes as they come to you, which I've done in a few cases when I didn't want to forget the exact wording as it came to me, but it's not something I've really tried as a method for writing a whole story. The thought of writing out of order has my OCD kind of nervous. But LK said she's done it before and enjoyed it. And writing that one scene did feel good. Maybe that really is the approach to take with this outline resistant story. Maybe trying a different approach will be worth it for this one. Since the other way doesn't seem to be working, it's got to be worth a try, right?

This will probably just be another side project, so I don't know if I'll have much to say on it again soon, but wish me luck!
Tags: dld, town of raindrops, writing

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