When I write, I have a bunch of scenes in my head or points that I know need to be made. Sometimes they come in orderly fashion, but often they’re a jumble. There are always holes on how to get from one place to another. That’s when I know I have to sit down and think everything through before I write one more word. Today was one of those days.
When I started writing this story, I followed the same process. I wrote down a bunch of high points on index cards. I haven’t looked at them for a while, but I’ve followed them really closely. I had six cards left when I started today. Quickly, I began to add all the new things that have come into my head. They’re all scenes that need to take place to close out the book. Threads need to be tied together. Characters need closure. Climaxes need to be hit. (Excuse the pun, but the sex scenes are on the index cards, too!)
Then I stare and sort. Add a card here, move a card there. Stare some more. Get rid of something that’s cool, but doesn’t fit. Save it for another time. Take care of a supporting player, add some foreshadowing, shuffle the remaining cards… Etc. etc. And so it goes until I’ve got a pretty darn good map to get me to the end of the book. Sometimes it works well (like today). Other times I just want to throw the cards at the wall. Then I have to figure out another way to get the thoughts out of my head and onto paper.
And yes, whatever method I end up using, peanut butter-filled pretzels do help.