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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Writing in Scenes, How I Start part 2

Cover proposal
I write in scenes.  This is why all my novels are centered on a scene and a theme question that then develops into the overall plot and storyline.  The scene in my latest novel Dana-ana (working title Diana--still searching for a title) that started everything is the first one.  In it, Dana is being "beat up" by a couple of boys for stealing their girlfriends' lunches.  The main male character Byron intervenes but not before Dana is knocked out and partially pantsed.  The descriptions of the scene and Dana propel the narrative into the next scene.  Dana will not speak.  Her name is odd.  Her actions are odd.  The teachers intentionally allow her to be beaten--to teach her a lesson.  The next scene flows logically from the first--Byron takes her to the infirmary.  The nurse doesn't want Dana there.  She refuses to treat her.  When Dana finally wakes, her actions are odd and she still doesn't speak.  That flows to the next scene--Byron escorts her home.  Her home is a tarpaper shack and that flows to the next scene, etc. etc. (you can read the first chapter at  The scenes drive the entire novel.  Most of the scenes are conversational interaction bracketed by description.  The scenes drive the storyline and the plot.  The storyline is encapsulated in the scenes that together become the plot.  Each of the scenes drive the plot, and the theme is held together by that overall question.  As I mentioned before, the question in Diana is about an Anglo-Saxon maiden in the modern world.  

So this is how I write a novel.  It is certainly not how everyone approaches novel writing, but let me synopsize my approach.  I start with a scene and build from it.  I use an outline based on scenes.  I write each scene in order to build the storyline and the plot.  The scenes together turn into chapters which becomes a novel.  From such a tiny seed grows a 100,000 word work.  Tomorrow, I'll talk about writing a scene.  

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