On Writing: Scene by Scene

Today’s word count: 2,278 words

NANTUCKET total word count:  60,874

HARPER total word count: 5,435 words (but I’m almost ready to start back on it)

Today the writing went much more smoothly. I also started a little bit earlier than I normally do, and I think that helped, too.

And today, I’m also getting a much clearer sense that I’m slowly building this novel scene by scene. I even think in terms of scenes, individual sections moving things forward, little by little.

Yesterday, when I was so tired and wrote so little, I stopped in the middle of a scene – but I think that was the first time I’ve done that. I normally stop when I’m finished a scene. Or, if there’s time, and I feel up to it, I begin another scene – but I won’t if I feel like I won’t complete it in that sitting.

How do you build your novel? Do you write scene by scene, chapter by chapter, or paragraph by paragraph? How do you pick the moment to stop writing?

2 thoughts on “On Writing: Scene by Scene

  1. Susan @ Reading Upside Down

    I’ve never really written fiction (not anything that I would show to someone else, anyway). I do remember going to a writers’ festival where a novelist spoke about his writing routine. He was one of three novelists on a panel. The other two were quite relaxed – they liked to write everyday and had an approximate number of words they aimed for, but they were generally pretty relaxed.

    The third author, who had worked as an engineer for many years, had a very strict writing regime including a whiteboard to map out the story and a spreadsheet to monitor the number of words he had written, number of words he needed to write each day to meet his deadline, percentage of novel complete etc. VERY organised. I think putting that kind of pressure on myself would kill any creativity I had, but it seemed to work well for him.

    I’m glad you had a productive day of writing.

    Reply
  2. Cathryn

    I write scene by scene and that has a way of flowing into chapter by chapter.

    I stop writing when I hit my page count for the day. This leaves it nicely open so it’s easier to get going the next day. I have a more difficult time getting going when I’m starting a new chapter or scene (lots of throat clearing before it gets moving).
    .-= Cathryn´s last blog ..How to be a better writer =-.

    Reply

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