Transitions and Flow
So, in the book there’s a concept I refer to as the Amaya, and it’s a kind of “flow” that all things have as they change. Ironic, I think, since the biggest problem I encountered in the past week was that I had three sections of the book that no longer flowed.
It started when I checked out Write or Die.com on the recommendation of someone I met on a film shoot of all places. The premise of the site is simple: You set a timer, and a word goal, and in Kamikaze Mode, if you don’t keep up with the writing, the words unwrite themselves. Yeah, they just start disappearing off the page. It’s meant as a way to keep you focused on the task at hand, and it certainly does that. But at what cost?
Flow. Yes, the ideas that I churned out “worked,” you could say, in that most of them are more-or-less intact. But the time I saved blasting the words on the page cost me a lot of time in the back end as I spent much of the week and into the weekend mulling over how to fix it so it all made sense. In fact, even after my grand scheme replotting so that one scene flowed smoothly into the next, I overlooked a glaring error: At one point, a character has to stop to open the door toward themselves, putting their life in danger. Only to have that same character barricade the door from the other side. While comical (in fact, I may go back and re-add it at some point), the narrative demanded that they escape their pursuers at this point or else things just kind of break down.
Not to mention that the three problem scenes, taken together, are an info dump worthy of the Matrix their prior state. That was the biggest mess to clean up; the information vomit covering the pages. Too much in too short a span. It’s like I found myself channeling the spirit of Ayn Rand. (Ok, so it wasn’t a 90 page lecture on why charity is evil, but you get the picture.)
In short, I found that writing quickly may have gotten it onto the page faster, but I didn’t really care much for what I got. And that was with a plan going in. I can’t imagine how awful (or how much would have been unwritten while I considered) what came out would have been if I didn’t know what I wanted the scene to be about.