Girls Write Out
Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What's the hardest thing about writing a book? For some it's creating suspense. For others it's making the emotion come alive. For others it's creating realistic dialogue or life-like characters. For me? It's all about the scenes, baby.

What scenes? Well, that's my whole point. What scene do I write next? It's the question that bugs me at the end of every scene. Sure, I have my synopsis. But that's just a map that tells me a few cities I'm visiting and what my destination is. So I'm starting in Boston and visiting New York, Atlanta, Cleveland, Chicago, Kansas City, Phoenix, and San Diego. I know my destination is Portland. Do you know how many possible routes there are along the way?

Because sometimes I start a scene and it feels like I turned down a street that I thought would take me to my next city. But it's not looking so good. In fact, it's feeling a lot like a dead end. There are no houses, the road is getting bumpy and--is that gravel ahead? My mind is shouting "Turn back! Turn back!" But I forge slowly--very slowly--ahead and end up in a weeded dead end.

Yep. That's what I find so hard about writing. Those dead ends. I turn back and try and find the right route. Eventually I get back on track and find my way to the next city, but then I find myself tapping the steering wheel, wondering which road to take next.

I don't want to know every street before I start the trip, but if I just knew where to turn next, I'd be happy. So if someone figures out a way to Mapquest my story, will you let me know? My characters and I are tired of driving in circles.
Denise Hunter  
posted at 9:40 AM  
  Comments (11)
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At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, Denise. Or, I write a scene and realize it's good, cute, but oh, could be so much better if I added some CONFLICT!

:) What you need is a flat tire on the winding road, or a tornado out of no where or terrorist careening past you on a double yellow. ;)

You are a beautiful writer! Never forget it.


At 11:15 AM, Blogger Julie Carobini said...

I feel your pain :-) Oh and even though I know that edits are a part of the game, I hate knowing that the scene I'm writing, dead as it may be, just may get the axe.

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Jaime said...

Just throw in a good mushy kiss - that'll divert everyone's attention if you don't know where you're at! :)

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Yeah, Rachel, those winding, dangerous roads are the fun ones. They can't all be like though.

Jaime, you think just like me. :-)

At 2:44 PM, Blogger allen said...

I was once told that writing Science Fiction meant that you didn't have to worry about road blocks because you can just 'make stuff up'...a good example would be the transporter on Star Trek. Roddenberry could not aford to have the Enterprise land on a planet each week so they invented a transporter. However, I'm trying to keep my character driven stories as real as possible and so transporters, phasers, warp drive, hyper drive, aliens...I get to use none of it and when you hit a 'road block' in space, there's no oxygen and (to quote the tag line from ALIEN) in space, no one can hear you scream.

(sorry for all of the Sci-fi stuff, Denise. It won't happen again...unless it was in the form of a Sci-fi musical...)

At 3:25 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Boy, do I realte the that, Denise! That's exactly how I write! I hate it when I don't know where to turn next. It frustrates the fire out of me! That's why I tend to plot more - outline. I need to fill in that road map a bit more.

At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm having this kind of trouble at the moment with my WIP. This manuscript will be the first I've ever tried to have represented by an agent and get published, so I suppose I'm stressing. Like you, I have the high points mapped out in my mind and on paper. But. I'm stuck in the middle not really knowing how to get to my destination. I know every scene needs some relevance to move the plot. No fluff allowed, but just once I'd love to have that luxury. I know it's a first draft but I try to treat any draft as if it's the final.

Some days I wonder why I put myself through this. :-)

Todd Greene
Straitjacket Chillers:
Get Strapped In . . .

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Katy said...

You are so right, Denise! How come the scenes I think are the most fun aren't necessarily the ones that do what every scene must--"move the story forward"?

Sometimes, chicks just wanna have fun!!! So, let the kissing begin? :)

Katy McKenna

At 9:55 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

I like the way you think, Katy.

Todd, hang in there. It seems like once I get to the last third of the story it almost writes itself.

Allen, a sci-fi musical? Now there's a production I'm sure to skip. :-)

At 7:22 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Believe me, Denise has no trouble adding conflict! I often wonder HOW ON EARTH she is going to get her characters out of the mess they're in. LOL

When I need to spice things up, I just kill someone. LOL

At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Liz said...

I totaly feel the same way, I was six fairly long chapters into a book with great plot and I realized I had led every character to a dead end, I couldn't do any thing. So with the encourgement from my mom I started over, now my book is bumping along on a nice country road and looking good. Maybe in a year or so it will b published.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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