by Shelt Garner
I have no idea what I’m doing. One thing that has come to the forefront of my mind as I get more serious about this novel is how, exactly, to structure individual scenes. I thought I had it figured out by following the advice in the book Scene and Structure, but studying my “textbook” The Girl Who Played With Fire, it just isn’t as effective as I would hope.
So, I’ve gone to a smile Beginning-Middle-End structure. But, really, what helps the most is simply plotting out what I need to explicate in any specific scene. That really helps a lot because all I have to do is follow the scene summary for that scene and move on to the next one.
That’s probably one of the biggest things I’ve learned about how I, specifically, write a novel — everything has to be plotted out. Everything. I have to know exactly what I’m going to write about in a scene well before I sit down to write it.
One thing I don’t know how to do is manage the overall experience of the novel. I just don’t know how to do that. I think the only option I have is to write the first draft, then read it over and manage canon and overall experience that way. That’s all I got right now, at least.