Saturday, June 5, 2010

Writing in the Back of a Van

We are on our way to Greenville, SC for my daughter's swim meet and I am sitting in the back of our friend's van listening to my Braveheart CD. I am about to begin the pivitol scene for my novel, Highland Sanctuary. This is the point where everything will change in the story. Every word I have written up to this moment was intentional in building up to this scene. It's so exciting to finally get to this moment.

I hope I can do this scene justice as I am sitting in the back of this van. Yet, my mind has been on this scene all week. Are my characters ready for this? It's the one thing my heroine has been trying to avoid and fears the most. I suppose it doesn't matter if my characters are ready or not, like real life--it's going to happen.

My characters are about to forever change. How do you manage th pivitol plot points in your story? Do you need to be in the comfort of your office or on you trusty laptop or would you be able to accomplish the feat riding in the back of a van with conversations all around you?


  1. Hi Jennifer:

    I have found that a really powerful scene, with sparks flying everywhere, makes the outside world disappear. I think I could write it anywhere. But I have to get it down quickly.

    I have also found that it helps to be prepared, from the very start, to write the scene several ways. It can be very unproductive to ‘fall in love’ with the first attempt and then spend forever trying to rewrite it. Sometimes I will write a scene in the way I think one of the characters would describe it as having happened later. That is, how would the heroine describe it or how would the hero describe it? This can give you insights you would not get playing ‘god’ in the objective sense.

    But then, I have no problem writing. It’s getting published that’s the trick! : D

    If I remember right, I used to go to furniture market in Greenville. What a beautiful location! Every time I would go, I’d want to move there.


  2. I get carsick easily, so the only way I can write in a moving vehicle is to type without looking at the screen and reading the words. And I have to be sitting in the front of the vehicle to even do that. I've tried that and it doesn't really work for me.

    When I'm writing under duress- tired, high stress at work, etc.- then I prefer quiet writing places. But, if I'm well-rested and have free time available I can usually write whereever. I frequently move my laptop around the house and the family knows if my laptop is set up that I'm writing. They don't always leave me alone, but they know.

  3. Hi all,
    Vince, what an answer to a problem I am having! I wrote the end of a book yesterday, and I'm not satisfied with it. I'll do what you suggested and rewrite it in different ways from different POV's. I had been thinking of different things to do with it--and what you suggest sounds like it will work. Thanks.
    And Dianna, I'm with you about the car. I was able to write a little on the netbook in the front seat, but I couldn't look at the screen.
    Crazy--all kinds of typos when I did look.
    My hubby bought me one of those voice recorders--of course most phones have voice notes now. If I think of something terribly important I'll record it that way--so I don't forget.

  4. Jenn, I cracked up picturing you tuning everyone out. :) When I'm working, my daughter will sometimes have to physically grab my face to make me look at her. I just don't hear anything! :)

    So yes, I think we'll hear back from you that you wrote it just fine in the back of that van. Have fun! I love those scenes. Although, even more, I love the last scene.

  5. My daughter took her headphones back from me so that made it a little harder. I finished the scene on Sunday evening at home. Yesterday I finally went and purchased my own set of headphones. I can't believe I waited so long to buy them!

  6. I've taken my laptop and an insulated computer bag for it to sit on in my husband's big ole diesel truck for long road trips. I bought a car charger for it and I can get so lost in my writing that I have no idea what's going on in conversation around me. It's some of the most fun, but most painful writing. I usually end up needing the chiropractor :-)

    I've also taken my blackberry and loaded it with ACFW classes from conference. On long drives, I listen to it via Itunes. Great stuff!