Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for Jumping Around

Every writer has their own process for writing, and it's rare that any two writers' processes will be the same. Mine is fairly simple. I sit and write. I don't plot. I don't typically write character sketches. I am a pantser to the core. Now, in order for me to keep things straight in my mind, and to make sure the story flows well, I have to write the story in order, from beginning to end. If I don't, things get all messed up.

Recently, however, I've had this particular scene on repeat in my mind. It's a scene for a book I haven't even started writing yet. In fact, it's nothing more than a fleeting idea at this point. But it's driving me nuts! Every time I try to work on my WIP, this other scene keeps sneaking in. I just can't seem to shake it. So, I broke down and did something I rarely do: I wrote the scene.

Here's a snippet of it:

Tanner grabbed her and steadied her. He gave her an adorably sexy, boyish smile. It was the same smile he always gave her. The smile of a friend.
“Okay, I think someone has had enough to drink.” Tanner laughed.
This was it. Now or never. She had to play by the rules of the game in order to win. Juliana grabbed Tanner’s face and pressed her lips to his. She didn’t know what kind of reaction to expect, but she really didn’t expect him to look at her with a horrified expression. Nor did she expect him to drop her. She scurried to her feet, eyes wide, ashamed.
“Oh, no, Tanner, I’m—” Juliana turned and pushed her way through the party until she reached the front door. By the time she stepped out into the cool evening breeze her face was wet with tears. I’m so stupid! Did I really think he would kiss me back? Why would he when he’s in love with my best friend? God, Vanessa. If she found out…
She turned to find Tanner jogging down the street after her. Great. She hastily wiped her tears and kept walking, not bothering to slow down. The last thing she wanted was to explain herself to him.
“Juliana.” Tanner caught up and grabbed her elbow. “Will you please stop for a minute?”
She crossed her arms and remained silent. Even though none of this was his fault, she wanted to yell at him for choosing Vanessa over her, but that wasn’t fair. He never knew he had a choice because Juliana never had the chance to tell him.
“What was that about back there?”
“Nothing. It was just a stupid game. No big deal.” She shrugged.
“So you kissed me because Jackson told you to?” His voice dripped with disbelief, and that kind of pissed her off. Just because Tanner Grayson was God’s gift to women didn't mean he had to act like it.
“No, I kissed you because I had to in order to win the game. Seriously, why are you making such a big deal about it?” She walked away, and Tanner fell in step beside her, hands shoved in his pockets, head down. Why wouldn’t he just leave her alone so she could suffer her embarrassment in solitude?
“It is a big deal, though.”
“Look,” she stopped and faced him, “I know I crossed the line, and I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done it. But if you’re worried about Vanessa, don’t be. I’ll take the full blame.” She started to walk away again. “It’s not like you kissed me back or anything,” she mumbled.

“And that’s exactly why this is such a big deal.” He put his hand on her shoulder and made her turn to look at him. “You’re right. I didn’t kiss you back, but God I wanted to, Jules. You have no idea how badly I wanted to.”

The concept is an NA romance. Of course, I have no idea if I'll ever actually write this book, and if I do, I have no idea where this particular scene will fit in to it or how I'll manage knowing I've written out of order. But, on a positive note, I feel at peace now and I can focus on my current project.

What's your writing process? So you jump around or do you write in a linear fashion?