I've discovered more about my writing process this week.
I'm very comfortable writing in first person and I also wrote will in close third person. But I've discovered that large scenes challenge me. This became apparent as I was writing a complex, confused battle scene. I was in close third person. I knew the character's thinking and feelings but now I needed to portray multiple things happening almost simultaneously while not betraying the close third person POV.
One of my previous comparisons with my writing process was comparing it to painting. I don't mean house painting but painting a scene, still-life or portrait. In thinking about that, I saw how different kinds of writing require different styles, and those styles have differing comparisons.
When writing in first person or close third person, it is much like following a light through the darkness. I don't see much ahead or to either side. The words are flowing into me and I don't know where I'm going. Characters tell me when and which way to turn. In this light and manner of writing, plot and setting are two more characters.
Action is also a character but broad action requires a different approach for me. Like painting, say a landscape, I select the viewpoint of all that's going on and then establish a composition. Broad strokes depicting some major objects are added in, and then details backflow in. In one sense, such a scene is a pause because I freeze a moment to depict it and set it up. Then it all explodes and begins moving.
Now, with the landscape completed, the character begins moving through it and interacting.
These scenes take me longer to write because their complexity require more time to visualize. I need to collar the character and take more time viewing the scene and recognizing the details before letting them take off again.
I've known that these scenes take longer. Sometimes I just put a placeholder there so my momentum isn't obstructed and continue writing. Then I think more on the scene by looking back on it and seeing how the character came out on the other end.
This scene also required research to familiarize myself with the weapons involved, along with the three Ts - techniques, termonology, and tactics. But as always with writing, it was absorbing, fun and rewarding.
Cue mad laughter. Time to write like crazy once again.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com