Writing Wrongs

March 14, 2005

I know Iíve said this before, but I think Iíve figured out my problem with writing The Boysí Club. First, let me say that I was so enamored with The Time Travelerís Wife and so amazed at how the author kept all the threads in place that I did a little digging to see if she spoke anywhere about her writing process.

I found this:

I got the title first, and played around with it for quite a long time, slowly evolving the characters in my head. I wrote the end before anything else, and then began to write scenes as they occurred to me. TTW was written in a completely different order than the one it finally took. I understood early on that it would be organized in three sections, and that the basic unit was the scene, not the chapter. It has a rather chaotic feel to it, especially at the beginning, and that is deliberate-there is a slow piecing together, a gradual accumulation of story, that mimics the experience of the characters. I made a lot of notes about the characters. I had two timelines to help me stay organized, but no outline of the plot.

All I could think of is: timeline, timeline, timeline.

Thatís it!

I have character workups, an outline, about seventy scene cards. I know my plot points, I know how this story ends. The problem comes with marrying real life events with the fictional ones. Granted, I canít change the date Iraq invaded Kuwait. But . . . does the Military Intelligence ball have to take place in November? Can they go to the field in March instead of January?

So Iím off to place my scenes along a timeline and hoping, hoping, hoping this is the answer to this problem thatís been plaguing me a while now.

Otherwise, we had a quiet weekend. Kyra has the perpetual toddler cold, so we stayed in mostly. By Sunday afternoon, Andrew needed an outlet, so we invented a game that involved me bombarding him with stuffed animals.

Charity Tahmaseb wrote at 2:05 p.m.