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Something I've Learned From Using This Forum (1 Viewer)

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TheMightyAz

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One thing is, starting too many threads! Sorry about that. :) ... not really.

But I thought this might interest and even help other people.

As a whole, a story you are writing can be daunting. You have your themes, your plot, your characters, you pacing etc. Each one of those things overlaps and creates a sense of chaos in your head. It becomes too much to contain comfortably. The longer the piece, the more there is to remember and the easier it is for your focus to shift.

When I started writing Apparition, I natural broke posts up. I first posted the opener, and then I posted the next section ... and the next ... and the next. What I didn't realise until the third separate post was I'd subliminally broken it down into scenes. I did not do that deliberately. For some reason a little voice in my head said: 'There's a break here. Time for a new post'.

Once I'd realised that, I began breaking that daunting story into separate sections (scenes) and with that came important questions. What am I trying to say in this scene? What are my plot goals for this scene? What is the overall theme of this scene? What's the pacing like in this scene? Does the pacing fit this scene or do I need to speed it up or slow it down? Is there any throwaway information? Is there any missing information? Because I was now working on one scene at a time, the daunting prospect of remembering the entirety of the story wasn't such a problem.

So now I break my scenes down in Word in the same way I break them down on this forum. I simply put:


------------------------------Scene 1------------------------------------


At each point I feel deserved a separate scene (or separate focus). This means that if I get stuck and can't move forward, I still have plenty of work to do and can get on with it. Because I've broken it down and marked those breaks, I can go into a smaller section of the story and ask all those specific questions I mention above. I can hone that section as if it's in and of itself, a short story, or flash fiction. All I have to do is make sure I know what preceded that scene and what follows to make sure the context remains.

This has completely changed my approach. Now I look at scenes not as linking scenes or 'throwaway' scenes that must be written, but opportunities to add broader, deeper ideas. I look at the recent scene I've written, which is a scene of Arthur going to a grave. I touch upon grief but don't expand upon it too much. NOW, I look at that as a short story and realise there's so much potential there for expanding both the story and the character, as well as adding an interesting element into the story.

Another handy thing about this is, if you make notes on what that scene contains, particularly in longer shorts or novels, you can then search through the manuscript in Word to find a particular scene easily. All you have to do is search for the 'scene (number)'
 
That's very interesting. When i first came here i had no idea if what i have been doing was correct, keen on picking up hints here and there hoping that what i was doing is right, so it was great to read that I've not been too wrong all along!

Like yourself, in my 1st draft i divided the whole book into 7 sub folders, each folder with a general outline of what i expect to happen. I'm not really a planner in writing, more of a pantser but i found a little boundary didn't hinder creativity.

Each folder consisted of around 7 chapters with only the start and ending of the book written up. I found this helped alot in writing and like yourself, if i struggled through one storyline i could literally jump 30 chapters ahead and let rip of had been bugging me all day and a few days later finish off the uncompleted chapter. It made writing really enjoyable though the last few weeks of joining the dots together were a bit messy ... it kept motivation super high all the time
 
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