Structured Scenes

I need structure! Having worked out the next section of the plot in my novel and renewed my passion for the storyline I am blindly pushing forward with no clue of how to actually get from one piece of action to the next. As such, I now have 700+ words that consist of my characters talking during a charity fundraiser about how one of them collects found objects and why. It started off fairly innocently, it was actually part of my original idea, but it has spun out of control because I’m clueless as to how to move from the fundraiser, develop the relationship between the characters and move onto the next important scene.

So – I need structure. I am planning to go back to my post-it note method of bullet points for each necessary scene and then expand each bullet point into a more detailed sentence and then use that as my writing prompt for the day. This way I can keep track of the story and I also have a handy ‘cheat-sheet’ for when I get stuck in a scene as I am now. The reason I’m writing in circles at the moment is because I haven’t quite worked out the minute details: hopefully the bullet-pointed scenes will help me figure out where my characters need to go from the fundraiser scene and the following sentence exercise will help me realise how they might get there.

This is a technique that worked really well for me during NaNoWriMo and kept me writing until I reached the 50K target, so I’m hoping it will be just as effective now. What I need to prioritise, then, is ironically not the writing but the planning. Without understanding this I would keep on padding out the fundraiser scene until it was utterly worthless and possibly sucked me dry of all hope and will to write. Sometimes it is just a case of sitting down and contemplating what techniques work for you as a writer, and what it is that might be stalling you from writing productively – occasionally it isn’t the feared lack of talent, but rather just a clear case of not being quite focused enough on the plot itself.

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