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My eyes skimmed the titles that I acquired in January at the ALA Conference in San Diego, plus several others that I just hadn't gotten around to reading yet. Was I in the mood for another fantasy? Or should I choose a light romance? Or maybe historical fiction? I had so many choices, and it took me a while to finally make a decision. (Plus I keep buying books for some reason - I should probably stop doing that.)
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The book I chose is ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by the super awesome Stephanie Perkins. I've only read the first two chapters but I am already getting a lot of ideas. I tend to write through a scene too quickly. Stephanie takes us through the scenes more slowly, and the reader learns so much during a simple scene about Anna's first morning at a boarding school in Paris. The actual scene may only be about 30 minutes in real time, but in that time we learn about the other characters, their relationships and the conflicts just by Anna's observations in the cafeteria. And we get those first few awkward moments - yay!
When I'm writing, it's like there's a movie playing in my head and I'm writing down what I see. Perhaps my scenes feel too quick because I just don't want to hit "rewind" and describe the scene in more detail. Maybe I'm just afraid the reader will get bored and want to get back to the action. Or maybe I just don't know how to describe the scene better to give the reader better insight into the story.
Another problem I've been having is how do you get from one main scene to the next? Do you write the scenes you know first and then go back to the filler scenes later? Or can you write straight through?
There's probably no real answer to this. You just write what comes out and/or try to plan with a detailed outline. That's why I read other books for inspiration. So far, I haven't figured out how to make the story flow naturally.
Any advice? What writing problems have you struggled and have you found ways to overcome them? What motivates you when choosing which book to read next?
A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford, who is doing my 10-page critique), and I will be buying one on Saturday when I go to Cindy Pon's FURY OF THE PHOENIX book signing. Eep!!