Friday, July 28, 2006

Jigsaw Puzzles

My kids love jigsaw puzzles. They enjoy taking tiny pieces of random colors and clicking them together to make a coherent whole. The process is one they can do over and over, even with the same puzzle.

Me? Not so much.

At least not when it comes to my writing.

I've come to the conclusion lately that I'm a linear kind of writer. I like to start at the beginning and continue on until the end. I know there are writers out there who can write completely out of order and then tumble the scenes around until they make sense. More power to 'em.

But I get antsy when I realize that a scene I wrote early on would really work better later in the book, let alone tossing the whole thing up in the air and seeing where the parts land.

Right now, I'm working on my soon-to-reach-deadline time travel novella, Ritual Love. I've got about two chapters left to go. I think.

See, it's summer break, and that means we've been on the road a lot. Thankfully, I've got an Alphasmart Dana (thanks, Mom!), so I can write in the car as we cross the state (or several states, as the case may be). Unfortunately, I've written so many scenes, both at home and on my Dana, that I can't quite keep them straight in my own head. His POV! Her POV! Are they at the grove right now, or in the caves? How many times have they mentioned Columba so far, and what about the grandmother?

I thought I could just download what I wrote on the Dana into the file already on the computer and just cut-and-paste until they fit, but like a jigsaw that has too many pieces, I'm finding that I can't force the scenes together. So I'm printing it out, moving pages around, then re-writing the darn thing so it's coherent.

In the end, I think I'll be a stronger writer because of this process. But it doesn't mean I'm enjoying it at the moment! :)

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