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?


  1. I'm a panster who writes in linear fashion. I often get unfamiliar characters dancing is seen in my head, and I do exactly what you did. I open a new document/out the scene, because I won't get any sleep or be able to concentrate on my wip until I do. Then I just save it for future use. Either way, like you, it had to be done if I was going to continue… The scenes usually do come back to me at some point, and either get put into a longer piece her work into a short story. I generally assume they have some purpose, or they want be bugging me so much. :-)

  2. Well, you've written the scene out, so it's there should you want it or need it one day. You may even find you can build a complete story from it.

    I wrote my first book pantsing, the second I'm trying the plotting way. I'm quite enjoying it and think I will end up meshing the two together when I finally find my groove.

    Stopping by from the A to Z challenge.

  3. Great scene, Kara. I have no doubt you'll find the perfect place to use it. Since I write NF, my process is a little different. I usually have a point in mind, and a general idea of how I'll get there, but sometimes the pieces or chapter kind of writes itself and takes off in a completely different direction. While I'm working on something, I force myself to keep moving forward, not allowing myself to second guess what I've already written. If I begin editing before I get to the end, I never get to the end.

  4. I tend to be linear and largely a pantser. You did well to get the scene onto "paper" so you could return to your primary story. Now you have it, and it will be ready when you are ready to work on it.

    Jean, visiting for the A-Z Challenge from Rantings and Ravings of an Insane Writer

  5. I am definitely more linear- I think its because I am so Type A!

  6. That is such a great scene! It totally got me sucked in and wanting more. I hope you'll end up using it :)

    As for my own writing process, I used to not care about plotting because I generally don't like planning, but after writing my first story, I realized it was getting out of hand, it strayed further from the original idea than I had thought. So now because of that, I plot before I write. It helps keep me in check.

  7. Just stopping by from the A-Z list to say "Hi" and wish you good luck with the rest of the challenge :)

    Loved that scene! Good luck with the novel x

  8. I write what ever comes to my mind but I am a non-fiction writer. I have tried to plan my posts but my writing style seems to fit me and my lifestyle...chaotic, random, and straight from the heart. So glad I stopped by from the A to Z Challenge. A romance writer huh? This hopeless romantic will definitely be back. And I think I will follow your blog <3

  9. I write in a linear fashion, but I'm not a planner. I just start writing at page 1 and hope for the best!

    Visiting from the A to Z challenge signup page. Great to meet you!

    Stephanie Faris, author
    30 Days of No Gossip

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Mostly I write in a linear fashion, but sometimes a scene gets stuck in my brain and, like you, won't let me concentrate until I get it out. In that case, I find it's best to just write it :)

    Also, when I write novels/novellas/etc. I tend to move the scenes around a fair bit once I'm finished the first draft, in order to get the best flow and tension. So that's sort of like jumping around for the chronologically challenged ;)


  12. Nice write-up! If you want to promote your blog site for free, leave a comment at