Bookmarking Scenes

Posted on April 26, 2009. Filed under: bookmarked scenes, Carole McDonnell, first drafts, novel writing, place holder scenes, scene writing |

It’s Sunday but I can’t resist discussing a writer’s recent post to Facebook. Carole McDonnell updated her wall and said she was working on place holder scenes in her novel in progress. What a great way to describe the first-draft novel writing process. What did she mean? To me, Carole referred to scenes that still need fleshing out, layering or other components. A lot of writers seem to “hear” the dialogue first, so the scene starts out with little except people talking. Later, the writer adds action, facial expression, inner thoughts, scene setting and so on.
Writing Tip for Today: With thanks to Carole, if you are working away on a novel, you might make a list of possible scenes that advance your novel’s conflict/question to the climax. It’s a pretty safe bet the first try at some of these scenes will be some sort of bookmark or place holder scene. Instead of telling yourself they’re no good, promise to come back to the bookmarked scenes and flesh them out or make them come fully alive. You’ll be amazed at the results. Remember, there are two kinds of writing: Writing that works and writing that needs work. Keep writing!


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