or The Beauty of Writing out of Order . . .
Oh, it’s messy, I’ll grant you that. And after about 75 pages, you begin to feel like you’re floundering. At that point, I usually give in and print out what I have so I can get my arms around it. (Is there anyone else who finds they cannot edit effectively on the computer screen?)
Then the the magic part happens. As I’m reading back over those out of order scenes that are now arranged in as close to chronological order as I can guess, suddenly connections become clear, transitions from one scene to the next, self explanatory. All of a sudden it is clear what the heroine’s thoughts need to be between point A and and point B. It's like all the spaces between the written scenes begin to fill up with just the right words.
It reminds me a lot of those dot to dot drawings we used to do when we were kids. But how can I know what direction to draw the line if I don’t know where the blinkin’ dot is! Well, these scenes I’ve written out of order are my dots, and now that I have them laid out, I can see what has to happen in between those dots and I know what to do with the line between them.
The thing is, if scenes are coming to you out of order, it’s usually because there is something compelling, vital, and dramatic about them. Something really important to the story will be revealed there. It's like having your story's fortune told. :-) Okay, maybe not. But try it some time, just for an exercise, if nothing else. I firmly believe our muses thrive on the new and unexpected.
Also, I wanted to let you all know we'll be having another drawing this month. I thought this time I'd give away a copy of Orson Scott Card's book, Characters and Viewpoint, since I've talked so much about it. (And if you already have that, I'll send you something else!) All you have to do to enter is leave a comment some time this month!