follow a rookie writing his first novel

A scene too far

So, you start off writing a scene with a clear(ish) picture in your head on where it is going and what needs to happen; a bit of dialogue here and a description or two there. But it needs to go on. And on; and on…

Somehow you just can’t seem to get to the end, or even near the end. The scene as you envisioned it didn’t have a never-ending middle – it does now!

This week I had (still have?) such a scene. It is necessary but the more I get into it, the more I discover it actually needs to make sense – I even ended up dreaming about writing it. Typing away, sweating with no end in sight.

Of course it wont actually end up like this in the final version. There will be an end (I hope); well, that’s what I keep telling myself. Somehow though, I need to write it out, if for nothing else then to see what is really necessary and maybe can be included some other way.

So, have you ever had scenes like this; your very own personal hamster wheel?



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One thought on “A scene too far

  1. My original approach was to let it happen. My second novel has chapters of widely varying lengths. The two chapters in the middle (later split into three) were long enough to technically qualify as a novel by themselves, and a later chapter is novella-length.

    Artistically they still please me, but I think it’s too high a barrier for casual readers. With my last story, I tracked word count for each chapter, to make sure they stayed under control. The whole thing ended up being 15,000 shorter than projected — I was so pleased. 🙂

    Since I work serially, concision has to be part of the original conception; it can’t be applied later.

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