Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Writing the "Necessary"

The "necessary" scenes.

What, you may ask, is a necessary scene? It's quite simple, really:
  • A scene crucial to your plot.
  • A scene crucial to your character's development.
  • A scene crucial to the development of other characters and their relationship with the main character.
  • A scene you really, really don't want to write.
In writing book two of "The Quest of Dai," I found myself flooded with "necessary" scenes. These scenes that needed to be in the book because, really, without them, there would be no plot. No story. No forward motion. It would have mostly been a lot of Dai whining. (She whines less in this one. Really! I'll talk about that later.)

But those sound like the interesting scenes, right? The exciting scenes! The scenes where things happen!

Well... They are. And that's why they're necessary.

Before I go on, let me tell you a little bit about me: I'm a very fast reader. I'll skim books for my favorite character's names to appear on the page together. I don't like it when my main characters aren't in the same scene together. Yes, I know, this is vaguely obsessive, but maybe I have issues. (I prefer to think of myself as a romantic, for the record.) I don't like a lot of description in books. I'll gloss over it and get right to--what I consider--the good stuff.

So. Back to the "necessary" scenes.

Book two is almost entirely a "necessary" scene.

Every day required a constant string of motivation to push myself to sit down and write. (Especially once I realized that it was all going to have to be completely redone--but that's another story.) Every day I had to force myself to write the "necessary" so when I did get to the good stuff, it would be that much more rewarding.

Patience is not something I possess in spades, I'm afraid.

So how do you push yourself to write the "necessary"? How do you make yourself keep going when you want to throw in the towel?

For me, I set up my desktop background with a picture of a scene I really wanted to write. A scene I was dying to write. And every time I wanted to quit and give up, I looked at that picture and said to myself, "Nope. I WILL get to that scene!" And then I kept going.

...there were also the times where I wrote in scenes that I then promptly took out, because they ended the plot/book WAY too soon and were completely out of character for EVERYONE, but satiated my need to get out of the "necessary" and to the good stuff for a few minutes. But that's also another story.

So do you have "necessary" scenes? Do you have a way to push yourself through them?


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