Friday, February 21, 2014

Are scenes that are easier to write easier to read?

Happy Friday, OAers!

Much like Lindsay talked about the other day, I find myself working hard to write while life is cracking along at a pretty breathless pace. I drafted the end of my manuscript in one big burst of productivity last weekend, and now I'm busily rewriting a few scenes from the first third so it'll be ready for everyone to read. It'll be so nice to get this thing out there!

This manuscript has been a particularly tricky one for me to write. Which isn't to say it isn't fun to work on, because it is. But while some scenes fly off the fingertips, others crawl by a couple hundred words at a time. I come into some scenes raring to go, whereas some scenes just wouldn't get written if I didn't sit down and force myself to get going.

When a scene is more of a struggle for me, I'll finish it convinced the entire thing needs to be rewritten. What's shocking is when those are the scenes my readers love. Even more shocking, when I go back to that scene later, with some distance, and it's... actually pretty good.

But lest I get too confident, the reverse can also be true. Sometimes I'll write a scene in one sitting, and it'll feel great. But sometimes those are the scenes that get a surprisingly tepid reaction.

This is, of course, why beta readers are so valuable. The way your writing process feels day to day is subject to all kinds of external factors: your emotional state, how much sleep you got last night, whether a plot point or character motivation only makes sense in your own head. That scene that drove you up the wall might be the most important one in your book. And that scene you absolutely love might need to get chopped. In the end, sometimes we're way too close to see it.

How about you guys? Think of a scene or chapter your betas loved - was it easy to write, or was it like pulling teeth?


  1. Now that you mention it, this has happened to me. I'll think I wrote the best scene ever and it gets a meh, while those I struggled with often get a high-five. It is a juggle, for sure.

  2. This is a tricky question. I'm not sure any scenes that I write are especially easy. I can't even remember the time when I wrote something and thought, "wow, that flowed!" Maybe I'm just being moody. ;)


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