Hangups #1

For the next couple of Wednesdays we’re talking about writing hangups- things that I, at least, struggle with in my own writing and how I’ve been attempting to improve. None of the advice I give is gospel or found in a fancy textbook or anything, just things I’ve tried with varying degrees of success.

Today’s topic is in betweens. I’m talking about the passages that get you from one place to another- there’s an epic argument that will be followed by an epic battle, but let’s say one side is going to immediately surrender- somehow you have to fill in the space in between these events and justify this action. Was the character or someone they love threatened? Is it a gift horse strategy? An attempt at disarming their foe? How and why and who?

I’m not great at drafting these. I want to go from moment to moment. After all, I know why they did it and that’s all that matters, right? Filling in all the whys and wherefores takes too much time and too many words.

One of the most helpful things I’ve done to combat that is write backwards. By the time I get about halfway through the book, I know what the end will look like. So, I write it, and then I start layering in the scenes between the middle and the end in a seesaw style, one forward and one backward, until they meet in the middle. This helps me see with new eyes and have a better grasp on what things need to be established, explained, and identified to lead to a satisfying ending.

Is this problem with the “interlude” type scenes a problem for you, too? What do you do about it?

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