Anyway, Child got sick at school again today, so another nap, morning this time, which is bliss, btw, and I knocked off another six or so pages and made the mistake of noticing what I was doing.
I'm thinking about something julad and I talked about a while back, on writing linear and non-linear--or rather, do you do it in order as you go or do you skip around, write the ending, the middle, part of the first part, etc. Because for the first time since X-Men, I'm completely non-linear and I'm not sure why.
I have a theory on why I prefer linear--writing, that is, not how the story is structured. Usually, there's only about four sections of a story I actually want to write. Think on that one and mull the length of Somewhere I Have Never Travelled or Jus Ad Bellum. Both only had about ten or eleven sections between them that I *wanted* to write--usually the turning point bits, or the sex bits, or the turning point in sex bits, or the dramatic bits that also become sex, because, I'll say it happily, I'm porn girl when it comes to my characters--and okay, anytime I get to do a dramatic on-screen death. Not that I don't get enamored of other bits over time while writing or editing them, it's just they are mostly ways to *get* to the Good Stuff that made me want to write the story in the first place. You get the idea there.
Jus was planned out pretty carefully, and with the outline, I could skip around if I wanted to, since I had a specific set of things that *had* to happen to get to the Good Bits. Somewhere was entirely different, since I outlined after the fact to keep up with where I already was while writing, but the same basic idea--I had Certain Things that Had to Happen, and to get to them, to make them make sense to *me*, I had to write the bits in between first, or the Good Bits wouldn't make any sense. It's about context.
I'm really overusing the word 'bits' here, but go with it.
Linear makes sure I don't get bored, as a rule--if I'm still anticipating the writing of the Bit I Want to Write, I tend not to stop or give up. This backfires often, but the other way, writing the Good Bits and then going back to fill in, works even less, though at least it has the advantage of being a hell of a lot of fun.
Anyway, I was being needy and also, strange, and wanted to entertain xoverau. When I want attention, I tend to write snippets. I was speculating with her and amused us both by writing out bits of an idea--just sketching a single scene from the middle. It ended up turning into something that, if you squinted a little (a lot), does in fact resemble a story. And so far, I've been just filling in sections, trying to create a backstory and a front story and everything in between for a single clear scene. Which is, well, odd, because I feel faintly off-center, writing a section that has to have an earlier scene written to give it context or let it make sense. At this point, I have a lot of middle story, a bit of beginning, and so far, nothing more concrete than my head to connect the two, and I'm kind of amused at the idea of an ending that isn't even in existence in my head as a possibility.
I mean, yeah, it's great to write again, don't look a gift horse in the mouth, glass houses and stones, and I'm absolutely thrilled that I can feel it again, but changing my method like this isn't what I had in mind either.
I can see the advantages, though--there is a certain amount of concreteness to it. It's very rare I'll write a section and then delete it. Yes, it happens, but it hurts, so I tend not to do it. Once it is written, it is JennCanon, forevermore, dammit, and that actually does help focus on the end goal--to get there, must have steps a, b, c-e to get f to work the way it is written. It's vaguely like setting up big signposts on the road that say, you go *here* and then *here* and then *here*, which is kind of cool.
Also, and this is the really fun part, I get the scene out while it's still very vivid, before I can overthink it or it starts to get boring, and that really does make a difference.
Now, someone who cares about grammar. And by *cares* I mean, someone who is happiest when mocking other people's grammar problems. You know who you are.
I'm doing a past/present mix, single point of view. For a bit of the story, it'll be present/past/present/past/present/past before I move into strictly present, I think, but strictly within the single pov of the character. I started off using the 'had' conjugation (and I've been out of high school too long that I don't remember what that is called) for the pasts, since it was vaguely reflective from the present time as presented in the story, but this is *not* working, or at least, it's difficult as hell to keep up for multiple pages and it sounds clunky and I keep falling into past tense without thinking about it. Would mixing that and simple past work to get through the dialogue and the action or is that just the most ridiculous thing ever?
And does that paragraph even make sense, or do you need examples and context?
Email or here, feel free to answer. I'm kind of getting desperate. I'm correcting myself every other line, which is just weird.