03 April 2019

Can This Book Write Itself Already??

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

Here we are again! I think I've gotten into the habit of checking in with these posts on where I am with my third draft of Uneven Lines. Last month I was on Chapter 24. Things went a little differently  than I expected because I was creating a GIANT subplot chapter, which I wasn't really comfortable with. I only have a few super long chapters in the book and they're really only that way because they take place over the course of one day. I decided to break up this chapter by scenes.

So, suddenly Chapter 24 was magically done! And I'm almost done with 25. I literally just have one snippet of a scene to finish. I think I'm struggling with it because it involves my characters playing music, which I always find very awkward . But, you know, my characters decided to be musicians, what can I do? Luckily there isn't a lot of it in this book and I don't really have to worry about it until the sequels. But for those I'll probably have to write some original song lyrics and holy crap I am not looking forward to that.

I think I have an idea of at least some dialogue to finish this scene. Basically, Jordan has a new friend Madison over (they're plotting a master scheme, as one does), and knowing his friend Eric has a crush on her, tells him to bring his guitar over and they play a few songs (possibly some horribly cliched ones). And then it goes something like this:

Madison: Can't you play something from this decade?
Eric: If you don't like The Beatles, you're not human.
Jordan: True, but I'm more of a Stones guy.
Eric: You know, I could tell that about you.
Jordan: .....
Eric: ......
Jordan: I also like Taylor Swift...

Or something like that? I dunno, I'll figure it out. I always do. Even if it takes me days. Or weeks. Or months. Or years. I'm not even kidding, sadly...

Anyhoo, the IWSG's optional question for this month is: If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be? (examples: fight scene / first kiss scene / death scene / chase scene / first chapter / middle chapter / end chapter, etc.)

You mean besides the aforementioned scene? Can I pick the whole rest of the book? It's not a lot, actually. No, wait! I pick the sex scene. I've already written that like three different times and I'm still convinced I'll never get it right. But I think maybe I can't picture it properly because I'm making so many changes to the end that I'm just not there yet. I have to get there before I can see it.

If I could wish the rest of this book done, I definitely would. Especially the parts I don't have figured out AT ALL. I'm definitely not an outliner, but this is basically what I have left after I finish 25:

- Wrap up Subplot #1
- something something
- Wrap up Subplot #2
- something something
- something
- Last chapter/denouement type deal

Yeah, wishing for all those something somethings to write themselves. And the sex scene. And the last bit. Because I think the very very end of the book kind of has to point to what exactly I was trying to say through the whole novel. And I feel like I got it horribly wrong in all my previous drafts. I *think* I'm still keeping the last two lines intact, and those should help me figure it out because I've always felt like they say a lot.

I think all I can do at this point is take it one step at a time. So I should probably get back to that music playing scene...


  1. That's awesome you finished chapter 24 and are almost done with 25. Hopefully as you move forward it won't be as much of a struggle. I've never written a sex scene yet. Not planning to yet. Good luck with yours.

  2. I'd need help writing music scenes too. Wish those wishes were real!

  3. Good luck, Sarah! You can do it. Sometimes dialogue can be tricky.

  4. I luurve writing the smoochy scenes and sex scenes. It's the SOMETHING SOMETHING in the middle that gets me down. BTW, Susie Bright's How to Write a Dirty Story is a fun resource. So is Cara Bristol's Naughty Words for Nice Writers--that one's a hoot! I wish you happy writing in April.

  5. LOL! I have a lot of something-somethings on my list, too.

  6. At least chapter twenty-four is done.
    You could throw a metal band into that conversation and really mess it up!

  7. You're getting there. Slow and steady wins the race, remember? ;)

  8. Hey, I remember working on one rather long chapter for my story, and finally deciding that it needed to be split in two. Suddenly I had two chapters finished and I remember feeling very productive for a couple of days until reality sank in.

    Damn, I wish my book would write itself too, but at least I'm making some progress.

  9. At least you're making progress, which is more than I can say with my story. Go you! You will conquer this music playing scene. You've got this!

  10. Ah, yes. The looming sex scene. Good luck with that one.

  11. One step at a time works. I wouldn't know where to begin with a sex scene, maybe that's why I write for younger readers. Hang in there, you're doing great.

  12. A sex scene would be tricky. To capture the intensity of the moment, you have to lay a lot of ground work to convey the anticipation. Choosing how much of the act to describe is also a balancing act. Good luck!

  13. You can do this. I like the dialogue about music.
    Congrats on your progress!

  14. Congrats on your progress. Happy IWSG!

  15. Sounds like you're making progress! Keep it up. I tend to write movie quotes in my stories. Good thing my MCs like movies. :)

  16. I hope you've figured out the Madison-Eric-Jordan scene.
    Good luck with the rest of the story.

  17. Sometimes it would be nice if the darn book could write itself. But you're making progress, and that's fantastic! Good luck!

  18. I think there's a moment in every project where I start to think that writing was a really bad idea. Even though I've gotten to the other side more than once now and know it'll be worth it, in that moment, I'd make the same wish.

  19. Yes, we do wish books would write themselves, don't we?

    Algorithms are already writing novels in science labs, but I don't think they will go very far--story telling is a very human trait, and takes much effort to get right.

  20. "I also like Taylor Swift..." That made me chuckle.