People often ask me if it’s difficult or easy to write scenes in a novel. I tell them it depends on the scene and what I want to accomplish to move the story along.
Some scenes can be summed up like this:
The character’s demeanor clearly pops in my mind, the dialogue is impactful, and the description is vivid. It is a euphoric sensation and I’m writing it all down by hand in a $.99 cent notebook as fast as I can. Yes, I write everything on paper first and then type it. Call me old-fashioned or just plain weird, but I have to see and feel the scribble of the pen beneath my left-hand fingertips. All of it, and every time. It is only then that it becomes real to me.
Everything is flowing, flawlessly and effortlessly, and then, BAAM…I’m there, on a patio, sitting on a beige wicker chair, arms resting on a frosted-glass round table facing a vast blue-green ocean. Listening and watching as the waves are coming up on the sand, sipping a tall sweet tea with a large lemon wedge, and eating a turkey and cheese rye sandwich with sprouts and a generous amount of Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard. Wait? What? Grey Poupon? Really? Yes. See what I mean?
And then other scenes can be summed up this way:
All your ideas are squished up in your brain itching to come out—nervously shaking the fence that they have been trapped in. Pounding and pounding on the chain-link like a migraine headache because they have been engulfed in a veil of fog way too long.
I can visualize the scene but it is so blurry that my eyes are burning. And the more I’m trying to write, the more the whites of my eye balls are getting redder. I’m hyperventilating and perspiring, cursing myself to push out the jumble consuming my thoughts, but I can’t. My ears are piercing like a constant freight train rumbling through, jarring and jilting my ear drums. I can’t breathe, my airways are blocked, and any dialogue or description I’m feverishly trying to put down into words is constricting my throat and rapidly I’m painfully swallowing the ideas away. They are disappearing, oh no, rolling down the esophagus with my saliva.
It’s not working. I need to step away from the notebook, or just surf Facebook for a bit. Until then, I’m blocked. Blocked like the fever, sinus infection, swimmer’s ear, and sore throat which I currently have. Ugh…the sick season has arrived. Is it November already? Of course it is.
For me there are only two kinds of scene writing and it is described above. Until then, I’m out of commission. I am crawling back under the covers for some recover. Be back soon.