Writing daily: update

Well, it has only been two days… but so far, I have fulfilled my commitment to write first every day.

The hard part is that I am a non-linear writer. Some writers are plot-driven; they map every scene from beginning to end and fill in the blanks. Nice work if you can get it. I, on the other hand, am character- and emotion-driven. Scenes occur to me, coming almost like dreams, words raining on me. I capture the words and write the scenes. Later, I try to figure out how they fit together.

This can be distressing. All I want to do is write, but I need to figure out timelines, motivations, all the messy little details that make a novel readable. Today, for example, I found myself going back and forth on a pivotal plot issue. I wrote only a paragraph and spent the rest of my time trying to decide how long the relationship between two of my characters should last. It didn’t feel like I was actually doing anything, but of course I couldn’t write until I knew the answer. (I still haven’t figured it out; more ruminating tomorrow.)

As aggravating as my approach can be, it has gotten me through four novels so far. Guess I’ll stick with it.

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