SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

writing scenes

Discussion started on

Uber Sparkly Poster
Poster Plus
The subject came up tonight in chat...

When you write (especially those of you who write middle grade, young adult, and early chapter), do you write complete scenes before moving onto the next?

I never realized there was another option, so I'm intrigued...
#1 - September 22, 2003, 08:28 PM

Admins and Mods Emeriti
Poster Plus
Not in the first draft because I'm going to rewrite it anyway.

Sounds like it was an interesting discussion!
#2 - September 22, 2003, 08:49 PM
PAINLESS (Albert Whitman 2015)
BLOOD BROTHERS (Delacorte 2007)

Torty

Guest
Jen, I always write a complete scene before moving onto the next. I find this helps make transitions easier. A scene is basically defined as action set in a particular place or timeframe. If I didn't complete a scene, I think I'd find that my characters may be left hanging and I'd write unnecessary words to "bridge the gap",
to move my characters to the next place or time frame.
I have enough problems keeping my word count down without having to eliminate unnecessary threads that join fragmented scenes.
#3 - September 23, 2003, 01:54 AM

ClaraRose

Guest
Torty,

Then do the chapters coincide with the scenes?  
#4 - September 23, 2003, 07:20 AM

lj

Guest
I think I'm like Torty.  I start out with a basic idea of what scenes need to happen in the chapter.  Then I write out each scene complete.  That's not to say that I don't go back later and flesh things out better or delete extraneous stuff, but that usually comes later.  I lose track of where I'm going if I don't complete at least the idea of a scene before I go on to the next.  Often, things change enough in the writing down of a scene, that it determines or even changes where the next scene goes.

I'm sure that's clear as mud. :P
#5 - September 23, 2003, 08:07 AM

HB

Guest
I may not finish a chapter before moving on to something else but I always finish a scene. That's because when I start a scene, I know where it's going so no reason not to keep writing.
#6 - September 23, 2003, 08:51 AM

Owl Princess
Admins and Mods Emeriti
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region canadaeast
Yes, I complete a scene first. Sometimes when I'm writing it goes in a different direction than I'd planned. I love these surprises!

Question:  For those of you who write out of sequence -- on a computer, I presume -- how do you keep the page numbering straight? I'd like to try this on my next book if possible.
#7 - September 23, 2003, 09:23 AM
ANTIQUE PIANO & OTHER SOUR NOTES
http://decoowlpress.com

Barb  :owl

Website: http://barbaraetlin.com
Blog: http://owlsquill.blogspot.com

Admins and Mods Emeriti
Poster Plus
Question:  For those of you who write out of sequence -- on a computer, I presume -- how do you keep the page numbering straight? I'd like to try this on my next book if possible.

I don't worry about page numbering until I'm putting everything in order and actually working on the structure and pacing. I do make a note at the beginning of the section (in caps) as to where it is to go.

I probably sound really disorganized, but it works for me.

#8 - September 23, 2003, 09:32 AM
PAINLESS (Albert Whitman 2015)
BLOOD BROTHERS (Delacorte 2007)

Chief Administrator
Administrator
Poster Plus
  • ****
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region inlandnw
With Microsoft Word, you just click on the "renumber" option (somewhere in the program - it hides there - but it IS there somewhere!) and it renumbers all the pages for you whenever  you need it to.
:moose
#9 - September 23, 2003, 12:55 PM
Verla Kay

Blueboard Problems? Use the Contact A Moderator link in the menu at the top of the message board.

lj

Guest
Shows what I know!  I never knew Microsoft Word had that option to renumber.  Many is the time I've gotten all out of whack during revision and gone thru page by page renumbering.  Doi! :spaz
#10 - September 23, 2003, 01:01 PM

ClaraRose

Guest
Dinoknees . . .

There is a feature in microsoft WORD that basically allows you to reference chapters (subdocuments) with in a "master document".  To do this, you view your "master document" in outline view . .  it is a little complicated after that - but when it talks about subdocuments, that is where you put in the reference for the chapters.   You can do the table of contents on the master document, and define the pages on this one -- when you do a print preview or print -- the page numbers are automatically updated to current page numbers, as well as the table of contents.  It is kind of nifty actually. :n  I built a template I called "Novel" that has generically named chapters (chapter 1, chapter 2 . . . ) that is what I use for now.  Microsoft may have a template similiar (for free) downloadable from their site.  I'll look and let you know what I find in a later post.  

Anyway -- hope I did not totally confuse you!  ??? ???
#11 - September 23, 2003, 03:29 PM

Andrea

Guest
I write out scenes if they are vivid in my mind- I get alot of ideas and see and hear my characters when I'm doing other things- then run to the puter and type it out- other times, I just outline what happens next if I have a scene in my mind that happens later...

As for worrying about page numbers, I have each chapter in it's own document, so I can move stuff around easily. I put it all together in one doc when I finish and do all the fancy page numbers, ect... If I need to add a chapter, It's not to hard to change the chapter numbers (I ususally just have chap numers rather than titles.)

Anyway, that's what works for me

:)Andrea
#12 - September 23, 2003, 04:52 PM

Uber Sparkly Poster
Poster Plus
Interesting responses so far...

I also finish a chapter before moving on, even if it contains more than one "scene."  I don't like leaving gaps as I go, and since I don't outline, if I start skipping around, I have no idea how the beginning connects to the end.
#13 - September 23, 2003, 05:19 PM

Torty

Guest
Clara Rose,
Yes the chapters do coincide with the scenes, I choose to write these in order too. Of course my ideas book works overtime as I do this as ideas and dialogue for other chapters AND scenes pop up. But then I always go back to actually WRITING the first draft in order. Great Topic, Jen!
#14 - September 24, 2003, 04:16 AM

Uber Sparkly Poster
Poster Plus
Torty= what are you writing with chapters?  I thought you wrote pb's...
#15 - September 24, 2003, 05:43 AM

HB

Guest
As far as page numbering goes, I think I’m missing something. I just have a single document. I don’t have a master and referenced documents and all that stuff.   :-\ Word automatically updates the page numbers without me having to press a button. What are the benefits of doing it the other way?  ???

For my novel I originally wrote an outline with a few lines for each chapter. I had some chunks of dialogue that came to me while I was outlining and I stuck those right in the outline. Then I did a page break after each chapter. Then I started writing. The chapters grow out of each outline page. Sometimes I cover everything that was in the outline, sometimes I don’t. If I don’t, I decide whether I need to move that scene to another chapter or get rid of it.

With this skeleton, I can write a scene that is part of one chapter and then move on to another. I need to write something while it’s hot. If I tried to jot notes down and then write the scene later it would come out stilted. All I would be doing would be writing to bridge the gaps between the points in the outline. And that ain’t creative.
#16 - September 24, 2003, 08:21 AM

Owl Princess
Admins and Mods Emeriti
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region canadaeast
Thanks Shirley, Verla, Andrea and everyone else for your ideas on how to write out of sequence and keep page numbers in order.

 :)
#17 - September 24, 2003, 09:46 AM
ANTIQUE PIANO & OTHER SOUR NOTES
http://decoowlpress.com

Barb  :owl

Website: http://barbaraetlin.com
Blog: http://owlsquill.blogspot.com

Torty

Guest
Jen,
I write Pb's and mg's. Both my WIP's at the moment are mg's. I haven't committed myself to just one genre yet (maybe I never will) I just write wherever the inspiration takes me. Both mg's have taken a year each so far - written about 15000 words on each.
#18 - September 25, 2003, 02:58 PM

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.