why won’t it sit still?

I had everything mapped out. Laid out. I was done adding scenes, shifting scenes. All was well, and I was going to focus on making everything pretty.

But then, (of course there is a but then), a new scene entered. Not a big one, nothing life altering, not even very time-consuming. But it changed things. No, that’s not right. It emphasized things, made it all more apparent for the reader, and for me.

I wonder how many more times this will happen as I re-draft. I wonder if I will be in a cycle of writing. Sometimes I wonder if I will be able to step outside that cycle and move on, enter a new one. I know I will, this is novel number 2, but at the moment it seems like this novel has me in a death grip.

How about you? Do scenes continually enter, leave, and move around in your drafts, or are they pretty solid?

15 thoughts on “why won’t it sit still?

  1. For my attempted novels, they move frequently and without warning. For my short fiction, they mostly wait for me to tell them to move.

  2. With regard to mystery and crime fiction, I find it difficult to move scenes which are designed to work as smoothly as, let’s say, a well-planned robbery. Deviation may alter the course of the plot. Within scenes there is sufficient room for dialogue variations or scene description.
    With something more literary or the YA novel I am attempting, the plot line is not necessarily set so much as the mood and theme and therefore I can move the jigsaw puzzle pieces around to form a different structure with eroding the overall feeling.

    1. hmm, interesting tikiman that it’s genre specific this fluidity, Makes perfect sense. I suppose though that revealing info at given points in these kind of novels can be tricky time frame wise. It would be for me.

  3. After the second draft, mine scenes don’t tend to move around within the novel, but they certainly disappear and new ones pop in at will. I think writing a novel is like capturing mercury πŸ˜‰

  4. I’ve stopped laughing now, so I can respond. The first third of my last novel was fairly stable from the beginning. But scenes in the rest of the novel certainly entered, left, and switched around through several drafts. I found it rather exciting … like discovering treasures. πŸ˜‰

    As for moving on, I’m finding that very hard. Good luck to you.

  5. It really seems to depend upon the story. The one I’m working at now continues to have more scenes jumping at me. I’m not even sure at the moment where they belong or if they belong. I guess the longer I work at it the more I’ll figure it out.

  6. Things definitely change. Early scenes may jump around or come and go. Later, as you mentioned, new scenes pop up that help round out what’s already there. It’s fun when that starts happening because I take it as a sign that the story is working for me and I’m willing to build on it.
    In the future, I hope to use outlining more to better establish scenes early on. Of course, I’ll never rule out changes if they make the whole thing better.

  7. Entering and leaving, yes, but no moving around. It’s encouraging to see that so far everyone who has commented has said that their writing also ‘won’t sit still’. It’s good to know that we’re all in the same boat.

    1. Oohh you are there, dear cousin. Do you not see yourself, under family life and artists’ blogs I am following? There is a link to your site!! I put it as soon as your blog was up! I am sorry we have not been around, we have been sick sick sick. One after another, and not sleeping, and I am too busy to even keep up without my own blog! Sorry. We support you. I would get more mushy but this is a public site . lol

  8. I tend to write as scenes come to me for the first draft, which means that they are almost always out of order. “Cut and Paste” is my trusty sidekick.

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