Today, I typed up and tweaked the last of the writing I did on the plane last month.
I had used Larry Brook’s Scene Checklist from Story Engineering to help me figure out what I wanted the scene to achieve BEFORE I wrote it, which made it really easy to revise. I noticed that I’d forgotten which character was supposed to be having which emotion, so I tweaked that as I typed it in. Made it stronger. Yay.
From here on in, it’s all new material until I get to the actual end of the draft. Because I don’t know exactly what happens next I’m going back to the Scene Checklist from Larry Brooks to figure out what’s IMPORTANT in the next sequence of scenes.
Using this checklist helps me avoid wandering around aimlessly in a scene.
It’s relatively easy to write ‘stuff happening’.
It’s harder to write good, meaningful scenes unless I know in advance what I’m trying to achieve: who are the key players; what’s the key piece of information I want the reader to learn (and have I set that up properly in earlier scenes or will I have to go back and do that?); what emotions do I want the reader to experience when they’re reading it?
Even if you resist outlining, this checklist is a really helpful way to get into the next scene you want to write. It manages to whet my appetite for writing the scene, instead of taking all the joy and anticipation out of it (as I always fear outlining will do).
The plan now is to spend a while, later today, outlining the next scene and thinking hard about what I need to achieve in the first draft of the resolution
It’s important to remember that this is the first draft of the end of the book.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be written.