trying something entirely new

I don’t know how to get from where I left off last night to the end of the story — so instead I’m seeing if I can get from the end of the story to where I left off last night.

That is to say, earlier tonight I sat down and wrote a chunk of the final scene, then came back after a break and started writing the scene that comes before it. I’ll see how far I can get with that, then probably write the next one forward, and at that point I’ll have pretty much everything I know about this story. Whereupon I will hopefully figure out how to splice the two together.

This is utterly backwards for me, both literally and figuratively. I don’t write this way. But the other way wasn’t working, and hey, it’s only a short story; if I end up chucking out everything I wrote tonight, and everything I write tomorrow, it’s no huge loss. This may, like “Chrysalis,” be a story I need to write wrong before I can figure out how to write it right.

(I’m hoping for a result less broken than “Chrysalis” is. Fortunately, I’m also not attempting anything a tenth as arty as that story.)

1,173 very tangled words tonight. I think tomorrow I need to re-read chunks of my reference materials and get this crap straight in my head.

ETA: another 400 or so more. I remembered, or reconstructed, the way I wanted to handle what’s probably the most crucial turning point of the story; again, it may need replacing later, but at least I have it nailed down for the moment.

0 Responses to “trying something entirely new”

  1. swords_and_pens

    I actually had to do something similar with a book recently. Had 2/3rd or so done, knew where it needed to end and…the path kind of vanished into the trees. So, I outlined the end in gory detail, and then proceeded to fill out the various things that still needed to happen between where I was and where it ended on 3 x 5 cards. Shuffled and arranged the cards until it felt/looked right, converted it to a more permanent form (in case the kids ran through the room and scattered the cards or the like :), and off I went. Things slid into place nicely after that. And I never work that way either, on a couple of counts.

    I think it all comes down to whatever helps you get the story from your head to the page. Just as each story is different, the process connected to it can be different, too. But, yeah, it can feel a little strange sometimes. Hope your experiment works for you.

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