Just ask my son. (Okay, on second thought, don’t do that.)
I cannot do it. I tried. I really tried to write scenes out of order. To picture a moment that will happen (maybe? probably?) in my story and write about it. To let go of any structure and just watch the words flow (yeah, right!) onto the page. To put off until later my concerns about why my MC is doing x or y and why she would move on to the next scene to do y or z.
No. Can. Do.
Do you see this?
That’s right. I’m a bit green with jealousy of all you free-formers. Okay, not really. Well, just a little. There are many, many parts of my life where I’d like to be more relaxed, less about peering ahead to see what’s coming, more…okay, I’ll say it–mellow.
On the other hand, I know writing isn’t about doing it the way that works for everybody else. It’s about doing it the way that works for you. Or in this case, me. I hate those jigsaw puzzles that are either all the same color or the same shape. I need some hint of the picture that’s coming and some way of id’ing some of the pieces that will go into it. I need to be able to hold up two pieces and see that there’s a bump to fit in the right-shaped hole. Even if I know, once I start writing again, my muse is going to come along with a paintbrush or a pair of scissors and make big changes.
So I’m plotting again. I’ve got my picture book out to a first reader (Hi, Susan!), and I have this week free to say to Caro, “So what comes next. And why?” And to listen to what she says back.
And it’s making me, yes…a lot more mellow. 🙂