Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Question for Fiction Writers

I've written another disconnected chunk of my non-Who story "Improbable Journeys" - and I find myself wondering if this is normal fiction practice ? Because so far, apart from a couple of Epilogues, I've pretty much written my Who stories straight through from Prologue/Chapter 1 through to Chapter 4/Epilogue without any wandering off. Whereas this story now has an opening paragraph, a short dialogue and piece of character description from later in chapter one, and now a random few paragraphs from another chapter, but I've no idea which one...

As with the other two sections I've written, this new bit seemed to just spring into my head, then flow onto the page from my pen, leaving me feeling rather like someone's amanuensis - which I understand is not an uncommon experience for some writers. But it is uncommon for me, so far at any rate, to write random chunks of prose that aren't directly connected to each other...

I'm not complaining, mind ! Just puzzled - as I frequently have been ever since I took up this fiction-writing business five months ago (and is it really only five months ? Somehow it feels far longer !)

6 comments:

Rhian said...

Yep, I tend to get random scenes floating through my head as well - then just have to fit them into a story somewhere!

Michele said...

Well that's a relief ! I thought it was just me...

Phill said...

There are plenty of authors out there who have in mind a few set-pieces, get them written first and then write the story to get to the set-pieces.

Other times stories just come and flow naturally from page one to the end.

And other times it can be a hybrid.

If you are writing 'disconnected' chapters first be careful not to connect them with nothing but exposition otherwise you'll end up with a Dan Brown/Michael Crichton style story (unless that's what you want, they've made plenty of money writing that way!).

Michele said...

I'm definitely NOT interested in emulating Dan Brown (except, maybe, financially !)...

The third piece I wrote last weekend has now been extended with dialogue, so I think I should be OK there, but I'll bear your comments about linking to exposition in mind once I start writing the story in a "joined-up" way...

J. L. Bell said...

Every writer is different, and sometimes (as you seem to have discovered) different pieces need different approaches.

Michele said...

Yes I've certainly learnt a lot about fiction writing in a mere 6 months - it's been a very steep (but interesting) learning curve !