Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Knitting Scenes into Stories: Nah, I'm Way Too Rigid

Knitting in writing. Do I? Have I? Should I?

~slaps knee~

Oh, dear Readers, I have attempted the great "write scenes as they come to you, then knit them together into a cohesive story."

Such. A. Disastrophy.

My analytical brain had apoplexy. It shrieked. It flailed. It gave me a two-week migraine to ensure I never, ever, ever pulled a stunt like that again. The time it took to write that story was years longer than it should've been. The isolated scenes I'd written never made it into the final story. Worst of all, the plot and pacing of the book never recovered from trying to incorporate those pre-written islands. That is a 300k under-the-bed book that will never see the light of day.

The pole up my butt is way too stiff to let me do patchwork story writing. I am too much a girl of process and flow. A, then B, then C. My clunkiest stories are ones I didn't plot. Trying to warp a plot around pre-written scenes is 10x worse for me and the reader because it's obvious I'm trying too hard to make Fetch happen. You might think having a plot then writing the isolated scenes would make them easier to incorporate. Dear Reader, you'd be wrong. 

My method of writing requires Ch 2 to build off Ch1 and to set up Ch 3. Ch3 builds off Ch 2 and sets up Ch 4. Rando chapter out there, holding up a boombox playing "Don't You Want Me, Baby" will never fit. It'd be like a tangle of dog hair laundered into your sweater. It's not the right texture or color. It's got strands that waggle beyond the warp and weft; it's a total distraction....that gets removed.

What about developmental edits that ask me to move pieces around?

~scratches blossoming rash~

That--that's a rewrite of the whole fucking book. Knit one, purl two. If you purl one, knit two in the middle of the back piece you've got to undo everything that came after and re-knit. Or you live with the glaring flaw. Thems your options. 

Admittedly, there are many successful authors who can and do beautifully knit scenes into great stories. I'm not saying you shouldn't; I'm saying I can't. So, do I knit? Not literally. Not figuratively. 

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