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.