A thread about writing popped up in the Comments yesterday. Since some people don’t read the Comments, I figured it would be more useful if I responded here.
The first question was: Because of the crushing deadlines you (and many other authors) encounter, have you ever thought of an additional scene that you might have wanted to add to any of your stories after the book was finalized and sent to the printer?
No, I never think of additional scenes after the book comes out. Despite the deadline pressure, the book doesn’t go out until it is ready. I’ve never had to ask a publisher to move a publication date, but if it came to that, I would. The integrity of the book is the most important thing.
But I have thought about putting some of the “cutting room floor” scenes on my website, after the books have been out for a while, so that fans could read them. I’m sure they would lead to interesting discussions.
The only problem is that my webmaster is already overwhelmed with work and I’m afraid if I ask for anything extra at this point, he’ll move to a desert island.
Follow up question! Do you always write chapter by chapter when you draft? Or do you ever end up with gaps in the initial draft that you have to go back and fill?
I start at the beginning and stumble forward, though I usually have several later scenes in mind before I ever set down the first word. In early drafts, there are chapters that are fully fleshed out with narrative, dialog, action, and story momentum. But there are also chapters that contain only a few lines that say something like “Main Character does something profoundly stupid that sets up the consequences in Chapter 30. Also, the sub-plot with the mermaid needs to be brought up. Add imagery of seashells?”
As I move through draft after draft, I figure out if, in fact, I need the chapter in question. If I do, the scenes that carry the proper load of the storytelling kind of show up in my brain. That’s the magic part. I cannot explain how that happens. It just does.
2008 Resolution Tracker
Week 8 – Miles Run: 24.25, YTD: 171
Week 8 – Days Written: 7, YTD: 56
44 weeks left this year.