ProTalk Discussion: Building Believable Scenes - 11/2/04


Log file opened at: 11/2/04 5:44:38 PM
Verla: Wow, you came early tonight, els. Making sure you get a front row seat? Or are you setting up the room for the Discussion?
els: hey Verla!
els: setting up the room... yeah, that's what I was doing
*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to ProTalk Discussion: Building Believable Scenes TONIGHT!
Verla: SURE you were. You were just warming up your seat, that's what you were doing. I notice you got the front row, center seat - best one in the house.
els: hehe
Verla: Yay, people are arriving... right on time!
Deb: Hey all!
*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to ProTalk Discussion: Building Believable Scenes IN PROGRESS
Verla: Hi everyone!
Verla: tonight's our ProTalk Discussion: Building Believable Scenes
Verla: so... who has ever "built" a scene for a book?
Verla: <waves hand>
JKC: Mmmm....
Deb: not me i don't think?
Cass: I'm not sure
Deb: I can tell you what I do do?
Deb: dodedo
JKC: Do do?
Verla: yes, deb. Please do
JKC: Do do verla.
Deb: ok...
varia: Hi Everyone!
Verla: Hi latecomers... we are sharing how we "build" scenes right now.
Deb: Usually I have a list of "things" I know are going to happen in a chapter
Deb: from that list I start to write out the scene that literally plays out in my head
Deb: and I basically type exactly what I see hear feel etc.
JKC: Smell even
Deb: Trying to make sure to involve as many senses as possible...yes jkc smell !
Deb: I agree! And I am not sure how I do that...if that makes sense?
Verla: yes, involving the senses in a scene can help make it "come alive" for the readers... like they are right there in the middle of it.
Verla: oh, good. Shirley's here. Shirley's a master at building scenes!
LisaS: Sometimes I have to go back and add in those details later. They don't always come naturally to me right away
Deb: and the trick is to make the intro of the sense seemless
JKC: But doesn't showing ... not telling play a big, big part?
Deb: a huge part...
Deb: it is like describing the anger that you see in the character rather than just saying the character is mad
Verla: yes, JKC... showing instead of telling plays a huge part in making believable scenes
Verla: Example: if you say, "Johnny was mad," you are "telling" the reader how Johnny feels.
Verla: But if you say instead, Johnny threw his new truck onto the floor and stomped on it. "I hate it!" he screamed.
Verla: then you are "showing" he is mad. :-)
JKC: Yes.
Deb: yes,.. and leaving just enough for the reader to imagine the rest
Deb: :)
Verla: right
JKC: I describe very little.
JKC: Maybe that's a flaw...maybe not.
LisaS: JKC, are you talking PBs or novels?
NOTE: PBs are Picture Books
JKC: Novels
JKC: Or pushing the half-eaten donut away with my shoe describes a mess.
Deb: Johnny's red face, clenched fists etc
Verla: of course in picture books, building scenes is a completely different thing than novels. Because in picture books, you have to leave most of the scene building to the illustrator
Verla: and it may or may not be like you envisioned it!
Deb: exactly!
Verla: when I build scenes for picture books... that's a whole 'nother ball game...
Verla: what I do for a picture book, is I visualize what I want to convey to the reader. I "picture" the book illustrated. What do I need the reader to see? To know? What can the illustrator do to convey my picture? What CAN'T he/she do? Whatever the illustrator can NOT do, is what I need to say in my text.
Verla: right, jKXC and Deb
JKC: My PB's vary. Sometimes I think I say too much.
Verla: (sorry. Didn't mean to X you out there, jck)
Verla: it's not hard to cut
JKC: uh huh
Verla: I find it harder to write longer
Verla: I think the scenes in the novel I've been writing for 15+ years aren't good enough yet
Deb: I know verla! and for me that is something I am still working on in my pb's
Deb: trying to write shorter...still love ma words lol!
ShirleyH: When I write a scene, I show, but there are parts I tell. I try to select the important moments and write them in detail so the reader feels the moment.
JKC: Like...
Verla: I think a good balance between the two is something to strive for, Shirley
JKC: Example, Shirley.
JKC: Please...please....
ShirleyH: The balance, I think, is very important because you cannot show everything. Your book would be 900 pages long.
Verla: One thing that can lose a reader fast is too much "detail" without anything "happening"
LisaS: Right, I agree Verla
Deb: and not leave anything to your readers imaginagtion...
pickle: I agree there, I tend to skip detail when I read
LisaS: More so with books for kids
pickle: and when I write
Torty: Do any of you 'tell' a little of the story to set the scene for the reader before you actually start to 'show' the story?
Verla: If you have a character that's sitting in one place, just "thinking" and you are describing every detail, then you are going to lose your reader. In Romance books, etc. you need to do a lot of describing. It's part of what the readers of that genre are looking for. But in children's stories, they are looking for "what happens!"
Verla: for the most part
JKC: Yes.
ShirleyH: Sometimes I skip detail when I read--but when I find a novel where the detail is amazing and fresh to read I don't skip it.
JKC: Do you sort of ground the scene with description and then start to show through dialogue and gesture?
Deb: I do when writing a first draft
Torty: Me too
ShirleyH: For the novels I've written (unpublished) I start with action.
JKC: Action?
Jaina: I don't write description because I don't enjoy reading it. I have to make myself go back in and add a few descriptive details.
Verla: I think that CAN be done, Torty, but you have to be very careful how much of it you do... because kids today are so used to instant gratification with the internet, TV, etc, that many of them tend to shy away from anything that starts out without throwing them right into the story. I think a better way to start is to have something "happen" then go back and show the slower intro by weaving it into the action later on
Torty: I'm the same with my mg novels- I launch straight to action but limiting PB word counts sometimes means I have to tell just a little with very few words at the start
NOTE: mg novel is a Mid Grade Novel
Torty: Sounds like good advice Verla
JKC: Is that what you mean far as action?
ShirleyH: Action--with whatever the character is doing that is important at that moment
Torty: I guess I'm still a little confused with the 'showing' and telling thing at times
Verla: you might start your story with something like: BANG! The back door slammed shut and Suki threw her backpack onto the floor.
JKC: Jaina...I hate too much description and too long thought waves.
Verla: Instantly, your reader is in the middle of the action and wants/needs to know what is happening
Deb: Yes Verla! And...
Verla: if you are describing a person's feelings, torty, you are almost always "telling"
Verla: As: she was angry. she was sad. she felt disgusted. That's "telling" the reader how your character feels instead of showing it
Verla: if you put the reader into the scene, and SHOW your character acting out his/her feelings, then you are showing
Torty: Sure- I can see that. A lot of my 'boys' stories start with bike chases and the like
Jaina: Unfortunately, I do include the "too long thought waves", JKC. My crit. buddies get tired of hearing my 1st person narrators "think." So I have to go in and ax whole paragraphs.
Deb: when working on the second draft I will go and find that spot in the story that I call the real start
JKC: Do you...maybe I don't have enough.
Jaina: Or what a person "usually" or "always" acts like, Torty. That can be shown instead of told.
Jaina: As in "Billy was a good little boy who always wore clean underwear."
Torty: What about -She loved working the farm with Daddy?
Verla: that's telling Torty
Verla: that's telling too, jaina
Jaina: Yes, Verla, I was trying to give an example of telling
Verla: you did well, jaina. ;-)
Torty: OK
Verla: if you say, She hummed as she worked the farm with Daddy...
Verla: you are showing she is happy
Lyra: In a lot of YA's and MG's, it's the style to tell the feelings...
NOTE: YA = Young Adult Novel
LisaS: Can you expand on that Lyra?
Lyra: When it's part of the "voice" all rules fly away (according to current books I've been reading)
ShirleyH: There are a lot of good books where the opening is telling. "Feed" for instance begins: "We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.
Verla: very true, but tonight we're trying to show ways to bring scenes to life,, lyra
Lyra: ok...rules are still good (g)
ShirleyH: Excuse any typos, please!
NOTE: We sometimes type faster than our "editors" can keep up with when we're in chat. As many typos as were noticed have been corrected in this edit, but if any are missed, please realize that this is a chat session, not a manuscript or cover letter being sent to an editor or agent. (We are all MUCH more careful with those!)
Verla: yes, they are. And sometimes, rules work best when they are broken... but that's another topic for discussion. LOL!
NOTE: LOL = Laughing Out Loud
Jaina: Lyra, it annoys me when people correct the grammar of my first person child narrator... do you know what I mean?
Verla: the voice of a kid needs to be true to the kid's personality, jaina...
Lyra: yeah, Jaina--I had a situation recently where lots of my grammar was fixed to be exactly by the book
Verla: I have Jasper (not a kid, but still the main character in my Gold Fever book) talking...
Verla: he says, "Warn't like told." at the end of the book. That incorrect grammar characterizes him very well.
Jaina: I guess so, Verla! But I don't quite know what that means, hee hee.
Jaina: Weren't like told?

Verla: no, jaina. Warn't like told
Jaina: What is warn't like told?
Lyra: Jaina, it's a line from Verla's book in dialogue from a historical character
Verla: Jaina... when Jasper comes back from the gold fields broke, his family asks him, "Where's the gold?" And he responds, "Warn't like told." (Not like the newpapers and all the people rushing out to make their fortunes said it was. No gold lying on the ground just waiting to be picked up, etc.)
JKC: it makes sense.
Jaina: So "warn't" DOES mean it "weren't" or "wasn't"

Verla: yep, jaina... wasn't
Torty: I can see poor forlorn Jasper hanging his head in disappointment now Verla
Verla: LOL Torty... the illustrator has Jasper come home and kiss the cow!
Verla: Now that is setting a scene
Torty: The COW!
Verla: it really shows how happy he is to be back on the farm
Jaina: And how little concern he has about madcow disease.
JKC: I've kissed a horse.
Cass: lol
Torty: That's great Verla- so few words and what a scene and you are SO right -the illustrators take is all important
Verla: I had no clue the illustrator was going to do that, torty, until I saw the finished artwork. It was... such a wonderful surprise to me!
Deb: Very cool Verla! That is what your words inspire!
Lyra: yup--her words inspire kissing farm animals (g)
Torty: It's kinda like anonymous artificial insemination
Deb: lol
Jaina backs away from Torty
Verla: and it's one of the reasons I love "not" illustrating my own books, deb. The illustrators add so much more with their second vision of my words than I could ever do by myself.
Lyra: LOL...I was going to say a worse comment, but not sure if this is being logged
Torty: OOPS sorry
Verla: yes, it is, lyra Thank you for refraining! LOL
Deb: And have you found Verla...
Torty: I meant it quite honestly though
JKC: Hey...I'm the one that kissed a farm animal.
Torty: A child- the book, created by 2 complete strangers resulting in magical surprises
Verla: now when you are talking novels... you are in a whole other world
Deb: that with the experience you have now it makes it "easier" for you to write your pbs
JKC: But...when do you stop adding the extras in a PB?
LisaS: What do you mean by extras?
Verla: yes, I think they come easier in some ways, Deb... but... depending on the subject I'm writing about, and how extensive my research is, it can be a lot harder in some ways
JKC: For instance...I wanted to say the name of a newspaper for rhythm.
JKC: The illustrator would normally name it.
LisaS: ahh
Verla: I think it's okay to put some things in, JKC
Verla: you just need to be careful not to take away the illustrator's "room" to be creative
Deb: and trust that they will fill in those blanks
JKC: Well...when do you know when you've crossed the line?
JKC: Just a question?
LisaS: When your PB is 2500 words long
JKC: lol
Verla: when you look at the book, and there's nothing left for the illustrator to draw that you haven't described, JCK, then you know you have said too much
JKC: back to novels...
Deb: Yes...and figure out where that line in the sand is that you want to stay behind so that the reader becomes part of the story through their own imagination
Deb: don't show everything...just enough
Torty: Do you think past or present tense has an effect on the vibrancy of a scene?
Verla: I think it does, Torty, although speaking for myself, I really dislike reading most first person stories.
JKC: Why?
Torty: I actually dislike writing them too Verla- but I do think one has to be more conscious not to 'tell' when writing in any other POV
Verla: Maybe I throw myself too much into them and can't distance myself from the stories? I don't don't know... I just know I will by-pass a 1st person book usually for one written in 3rd person.
Jaina: I'm the opposite way
Lyra: I prefer first person books...always have
ShirleyH: Me too
JKC: Yay Lyra!
JKC: Yay Shirley!
Lyra: My current books are all first person
Verla: LOL Jaina and JKC... and yet, I read Linda Joy Singleton's books (and many of them are in first person) and I LOVE them. So maybe it's just the "quality" of the first person stories?
JKC: Oh dear.
Lyra: I can live with that comment, Verla (g)
NOTE: (g) = Grin
Lyra: Dialogue shows character and brings them alive
Verla: welcome latecomers.. we are discussing what we put into our scenes to make them come alive... make them believable for the readers
LisaS: There's a great chapter in SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS about "beats." William grabbed his shoulders and shook him. "What were you thinking?"
Deb: I have that book Lisa...must open it must open it tonight..
LisaS: The beat is the grabbing his shoulders part. But you have to be careful and not use them so much they start to get annoying
Verla: Writer's Digest has a really good book about Characters, too, in their "how to write" books
Jaina: Lisa, and how!
LisaS: Yeah, I speak from experience. :(
Deb: Is that the one by nancy kress?
Verla: and now... one more try... I'd like to get back to novels. In a novel, you have to tell (or show) the reader everything, because there aren't any illustrations (except the cover of the book) to clue the reader in or set the scene for you/
Verla: and HOW you tell the reader what is going on, will be the difference between a good scene that's alive and one that's flat and very boring. One that only "tells" the story and doesn't involve the reader at all.
ponytailmo: I always have a problem describing my main character - looking in a mirror, comparing to another character all seem over done.
Deb: right...three dimensional storytelling:)
ponytailmo: I love that deb!
Lyra: I try to mix my scenes with dialogue, action, reaction
Amishka: I do that too, Lyra
Deb: the best kind. It draws you in and makes you a part of the story physically, visually, emotionally
Verla: I think it's best if you let the reader find out what the character looks like a little at a time: Molly glared at her hairbrush. Long blond hairs were matted all through it. When her mother saw it, she would insist Molly clean it. "I hate cleaning my hairbrush," she said.
Amishka: ptm, you can describe your character slowly throughout the book.
NOTE: ptm is a shortened nickname for ponytailmom
Deb: Nice Verla!
Verla: now you know the color of her hair.
Deb: and exactly the kind of description that is part of the story not a list of what the character looks like
Andrea: That's a good way to do it, Ami
Cass: I've noticed as a reader, that I get frustrated in novels without descriptions early on
Amishka: actually, to be perfectly honest - I never once had anything descriptive about my main character in the book I sold
ponytailmo: but they say to get the description in fast because you don't want your reader creating 'their own' image which you tell them later is wrong.
Verla: she can next look into her closet (which is a veritable mess) and pick up her old jeans that are two sizes too small. Now we also know she's recently gained weight, and she's messy
Cass: I hate finding out that my picture of the character was wrong
Amishka: his looks weren't important to the story - it didn't matter
ShirleyH: I don't describe my main character either. I show him from inside out.
Amishka: I let the reader put in the face by his actions
Amishka: right Shirl
Verla: if you are going to do it, do it right away, pony, but do it with characterization, instead of just exposition.
ponytailmo: cool
Andrea: Some YA's don't ever describe the characters physically- the MC anyway
Amishka: the only character I ever described in any of my newer YA is BJ and only because that is important to the story
Verla: if it's important that your main character is overweight, sneak that into his/her actions/reactions right away
JKC: large feet...clumsy, etc.
Andrea: I really liked Carol Plum-Ucci's descriptions in her YA's
Verla: Does anyone else have any questions about how to bring a scene to life?
Verla: details help a LOT
Verla: as we mentioned at the beginning
Verla: sensory details are even better.
ponytailmo: If you spend so much time on the details though how do you keep the scene moving?
Verla: have your character smell, taste, feel, hear things
ponytailmo: I hate books that go on and on and on about the size of the kitchen, the appliances etc.
Andrea: action- and voice is so important
Verla: and see
JKC: See...I don't detail too much.
ShirleyH: Something important I think is to make sure you have conflict/tension
Andrea: yes, that tension is very important too
ShirleyH: And a disaster is helpful
ponytailmo: lol!
Amishka: I don't think you need to describe everything, just things that would be out of the norm
Amishka: for your mc
NOTE: mc = main character
ShirleyH: And also each scene should have a goal
Deb: I think you pick and choose what the readers will want to detailed description of a dark dank library filled with dust encrusted books
Amishka: Let's say I walked into my own living room, I wouldn't look at everything in there - I've already seen it
Amishka: so why would your character have to?
Cass: that's a good point deb, you don't want to describe everything
Verla: oh, good, Shirley. A Goal for each chapter/scene. That's GREAT
Cass: just enough for flavor
JKC: How do you set a goal?
Deb: I like that too! that was going to be a question of mine
Amishka: now if I walked into my living room and lets say - Richard Gere was standing in the middle of it I'd describe that because that wouldn't be in the norm - unless I lived with Richard Gere
Cass: that's true, mish, usually you notice the things that are different
ShirleyH: Goal--What is the point of the scene?
ShirleyH: I always ask myself what the point of a scene is and how I can best show it
Verla: Goal = what is going to happen in that scene that changes your character in some way, Shirley?
ShirleyH: yes
shelly: but you already know what your living room looks like, ami
Amishka: I do shelly
shelly: your reader doesn't
Amishka: I wouldn't describe the living room
Amishka: shelly
Amishka: remember if you are writing
Amishka: you are always in your mc's head
Amishka: forget about the reader
shelly: ah, true
Amishka: they don't exist
Amishka: the mc doesn't see them
JKC: I always think movement...does it it exciting enough...
Cass: wow, mish, I never thought of looking at it that way
Verla: however, if you needed to let the reader know the library was dank and dark, shelly... you could always have Richard Gere complain about it: "Why is your library so dark and dank, " Richard complained.
Amishka: so she wouldn't describe anything to them
JKC: Or he could shudder and blow his nose. Charming.
Deb: lol..or he could say peeeeuuu
shelly: yes, verla, then you've killed two birds with one stone
Amishka: she would only point out what is different
Deb: on the other hand that would be out of character for richard...would he say peeuu?
shelly: or if she was a flybaby she'd point out how her sink needed to be shined, even though she already knows that ;)
Cass: :)
Amishka: If your library is dark and dank have the mc shiver when she enters then turn on a light or open a curtain
Amishka: Richard would hand her a sweater and pull her close to warm her up
Amishka: or better yet a blanket
Verla: and maybe wrinkle up her nose, ami
Cass: Or maybe not even use a sweater to warm her up
Amishka: right, Verla - unless she's used to the smell
Verla: this is being logged people! BEHAVE!
Verla: LOL
shelly: cass, this is being logged!
Amishka: then her nose wouldn't wrinkle
Deb: LOL!!
Cass: :D
NOTE: :D = signifies a very big grin
shelly: we're going to be sending your hubby the link
Cass: In my defense, that came out worse than I'd intended
Verla: okay... what else would make your scenes come alive and be believable to your reader?
Verla: Unless you are writing fantasy, I believe it needs to be "as true to life" as possible.
JKC: Uhm...I save flow...excitement...movement. Can I say that?
shelly: what did we cover so far?
JKC: I mean said flow.
Verla: I know nothing will throw me out of a book faster than to read something that is totally factually incorrect.
Amishka: shelly, go ahead, my hubby looks like Richard Gere so it could very well be him in the library because it's dark and I can't see right
shelly: but once you open the curtain or turn on the light, you'd know
Amishka: absolutely, Verla
ShirleyH: I ask myself what value is at stake in my character's life at the beginning of a scene and then how it changes or shifts toward the end of a scene.
Verla: ooooh, good one, Shirley
Amishka: do your research. especially if it's a historical
Deb: And with fantasy the trick is to write it as if real so that its reality is not doubted for a there is not a moment where you go yeah right like he can turn into a dragon
Amishka: you can't have a character wearing a red/blue whatever scarf if at the time in that area that color of dye was not available
Verla: right, deb
shelly: i think that rule can apply to all genres, deb, you have to write convincingly and make your story believable
Deb: yes...even follow, I think, certain "rules"
Verla: and if you have broken one of the laws of physics, or something in your fantasy world, KEEP that rule broken all the way through... unless magic or something like that changes it
Amishka: you also can't have a character do something that he wouldn't normally do in a scene
Cass: Scenes come alive for me when they are infused with a bit of information -like in Charlotte's web when you learn about the life cycle
Deb: exactly Verla...and the rules that I break the best are the ones I know about :)
ponytailmo: I have to CARE about the character to keep reading. How does one get you to care about their character?
Cass: I'm struggling with that now, PTM
Amishka: and they can't change overnight - if one day they were bullies they can't just decide, well I don't want to do this anymore- something has to happen to make them change
shelly: in fantasy, there need to be rules, in other words, the rules can't keep changing according to your character/story needs
ponytailmo: I just read a book with a 72 page prologue introducing character/suspects. The book didn't start for me until the the mc/detective showed up.
shelly: and even then, change is a struggle, ami. nobody really changes that drastically without a struggle
Verla: Right, shelly and PTM
Amishka: gloria, make them real
Amishka: if you can't care about them no one else will
shelly: ptm, if the writer cares, the reader will probably care
dystar: it's all in the details
Verla: character charts help for me
Verla: because they make me KNOW my character
Amishka: make them well rounded. look at your kids. they have all kinds of sides to them - your characters have to have as many sides
Verla: and a real character will help bring a scene to life faster than anything (I think)
ponytailmo: all of these suspects were done in great detail, but I didn't give a hoot about them. I wanted to get to the story.
shelly: cass, you're struggling with caring as a reader or a writer?
Amishka: they have to have different things going on in their lives not just the story
Cass: writer, shelly, as a reader I tend to buy into everyone out of habit
Amishka: just skip the prologue, pony, the kids do
Cass: I'm thinking of the comment about a story not resonating with the reader, how do you make a story resonate with someone else
shelly: i think that's why i keep abandoning my novels, because i don't care about my characters enough, that's why i finally decided to write something with a character i HAVE to care about, there is no way i can NOT care about my current character
Deb: is there any prescene work that you do that makes writing that first draft run smoothly for anyone? Verla mentioned character charts...character driven stories
Cass: Is it working for you better, shelly?
Amishka: Oh one thing to mention though, when you're writing first drafts - don't worry if you don't care about your character, they don't have to be real yet, just keep writing
Amishka: you may not have your character whole until the second/third/forth draft
shelly: it's helped me get down 16,000 words in a little over a week, cass--definitely a record breaker for this gal
Cass: I usually make flow charts for my scenes, Deb, (but I do PBs)
Amishka: the same goes for your scenes
Cass: wow, shelly
kimmar: deb, I find that most of my scenes start out as running dialogue and I add things in later
Verla: (there's a character chart on the Getting Started page of my website <> - go to the Artist & Writer's Page, then to the Getting Started page. ) It's towards the bottom of the page.
Amishka: wow shelly,
JKC: I have to like my characters or they stop jumping and I stop typing. Wow, 16,000?
Deb: yes...I know that write now for Nanowrimo I am just making myself write out those scenes however they come to me and I will tighten the dialogue action desp later
NOTE: Nanowrimo is a group of people who encourage each other to write the first draft of a novel - fast - in (I think) one month (or something like that.) I believe it is explained on the Message Board of my website.
Amishka: that's more words than in most of my finished books
Deb: Shelly!! way to go!
shelly: i'm not doing nanowrimo, but i am following that theory, just get it down and fix it later
ShirleyH: I haven't written a work yet for the novel writing in a month
Verla: I like to write down a mini outline of what I expect will happen. As: chapter one - Holly decides to disobey her aunt and sneak out on a date with a boy
Verla: chapter two - Donn comes to pick up Holly... they don't get along too well. (It's a blind date)
shelly: amishka, i'm sure i'll be cutting at least 25% of it, i write long
Deb: Yes verla I am thinking a mini outline for upcoming chaps
Amishka: that's okay though, shelly
Lyra: Congrats on that shelly
Amishka: I write short
kimmar: verla I do that too, but as the novel progresses, things are changing and my outline isn't holding up
Verla: I write way too short! LOL
Lyra: writing so many words (g)
dystar: that's okay, just change the outline
Deb: rough outline of each scene to keep the momentum then flesh out as I write the first draft
Verla: that's okay, kimmar... you just stop and make a new outline every so often... whenever necessary
shelly: it could be 90% garbage for all i know, but i'm telling mysef it doesn't matter, once i have the skeleton, i can play around with it, but i need to have a finished draft
dystar: until it's published, a book can go through lots of changes
ponytailmo: I only have up to chapter 8 outlined for this first draft of my ya. I figure by then my story won't resemble the outline and way and I won't feel guilty starting over from there ;0
JKC: I get too confused with a giant skeleton. Maybe I write short, too.
Verla: my novel morphed from a YA to an adult mystery and back to a YA... and it needs at least one more morph before I'll be totally happy with it. :-)
shelly: now that i've said that on a logged chat, i BETTER finish this novel
Lyra: I have an outline written for the book I'm working on now
Verla: we have you in concrete now, shelly!
ShirleyH: I don't do outlines, but I do mind-write the novel before I write it on paper.
NOTE: mind-writing is when you think the entire story through and know exactly what you are going to write before you put anything onto paper
shelly: i didn't outline this time, i think i'll outline after i'm done the first draft..doing everything backwards
Verla: yikes! I can't believe our time is UP!
ponytailmo: NOOOOO!
Deb: wow...time flies and some great great food for thought!
Verla: yesssss, ponytailmom. That's what happens when you come in late! HA!
ponytailmo: dang
dystar: hey, I was out shopping
kimmar: shirley, I feel like lately I'm doing too much mind-writing, not enough actual writing, lol (though I know your process works well for you)
Verla: Anyone have any last minute gems they want to throw into the discussion? Before we officially end it?
shelly: i think everyone has to find their own process, there is no one "right" way
ShirleyH: It works great for me--then I can sit and write the draft easily
Verla: I would forget everything before I got it written down, Shirley. But then, I write very slowly.
ShirleyH: I revise very slowly
Deb: nothing for me. Thanks for doing this Verla:) now speaking of scene building I am off to see if I can write a couple more chapters
Verla: and it took me over ten years to "think through" my story enough to finish the first draft even
shelly: shirley, do you mean that you "mind-write" the basic plot, or do you also figure out all the little details and intracacies in your mind before you write?
JKC: I revise as I go. Horrors.
ponytailmo: I try to keep a tape recorder close when I'm not by my computer for those mind writing times.
ponytailmo: stole it from hubby :)
JKC: Good idea.
dystar: good idea
dystar: I need to get one of those
JKC: Beat you dy.
dystar: :-P
Verla: now, now, girls. No fighting over who said "good idea" first.
dystar: oh, verla, you're no fun
ShirleyH: I figure out details
JKC: Ahhhhhhh
shelly: wow, shirley, that's amazing. i think i'd also forget a lot of it (not as much as verla though)
NOTE from Verla: HEY! I resemble that remark, Shelly!
ShirleyH: If I come up with a great line, I do write that down
JKC: 16,000 words, huh.
Verla: Well, I do think this was a GREAT discussion, folks.
Deb: see you everyone...thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas
Verla: thanks for coming everyone and thank you for your input!
dystar: I keep a notebook and a light-up pen on my bedside table
JKC: I just wish I was inspired.
Cass: :D
Cass: feel free to edit anything inappropriate, Verla
shelly: thank YOU, verla
shelly: lol, cass
Verla: I keep a notebook and pen or pencil on my nightstand, dy...but if I get an idea in the middle of the night, I just click on the lamp and write it down. Terry's used to it and usually just grumbles a little and rolls over. <grin>
ShirleyH: Hope my typos are edited.
Cass: Thank you, Verla, this was inspiring
JKC: Verla, thanks so much.
Verla: I'll try to fix as many typos as I can see...
dystar: my pen lights up all by itself...
shelly: yes, verla, please do spellcheck for us
ShirleyH: Thanks Verla and everyone! I love hearing your insights. GTG. Bye!
shelly: wow, dystar, fancy
Amishka: I mind-write the entire plot before I put it down too
*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to Writers & Illustrators of Children's Literature Meet Here Nightly - WELCOME!
Log file closed at: 11/2/04 7:16:33 PM

Verla Kay
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