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Date Posted: Thursday, February 23, 11:49:01am
Author: JayBee
Subject: OK, this leads me to another question (r)
In reply to: Nell 's message, "I must be more like you - more visual than not (r)" on Wednesday, February 22, 10:11:43pm

You wrote:

I get flashes of scenes in my head - usually with motion and emotion, but not much more than a line or two of dialogue.

Do you get these flashes before you've worked out what the plot is going to be? I've read various people say that the germ of a story will come to them through visualizing a scene, and then building up the story around it.

I'm quite different. I usually come up with plot ideas in the abstract, and from there I then have to "build down" so to speak, by working out what scenes will be necessary to complete the elements of the higher-level plot.

I always outline -- in fact I *have* to outline or I wouldn't be able to come up with specific scenes at all. Then, once I've outlined the order of the scenes, including who has to be in them and what needs to happen, I then sit down to write each scene by sort of locking the characters in a room together and letting them interact. I listen to their voices as if I have no control of them whatsoever, and simply write down what I hear them say. Sometimes, what they say surprises me, and I realize that I have to rewrite the rest of my plot outline to accommodate the character's reactions to events.

Adding visual details to scenes usually comes last, after I've already written several drafts of each scene. I find it extremely challenging, and I really have to put my mind in a completely different place than when I'm thinking about plot. My brain can apparently handle thinking about plot and dialogue simultaneously (and in fact they interact with and feed each other), but visual aspects only work when I think about that and nothing else.

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