Falling Through Space: A Writer’s Problem



I was working with a client and she called today asking a strange question. The question actually didn’t matter; the answer did. She was lost in her own book.

The most seasoned of authors have been known to mention a kiss that hasn’t happened yet. This monitoring the flow is very much the editor’s job; in film it’s called continuity.

I find it impossible to not get lost in my own book after a certain size is reached. I can keep track up until about 1/2 the manuscript has been written.

For the first half of a book, I find I can read everything that exists and write each day. As a book – and its plots – gets thicker, I just can’t read it each day AND write. Now I do the “Thumb Through.”

The “Thumb Through” is the film industry’s version of the read-through. It’s down and dirty, quick and fast.

The day’s writing is based on the Thumb-Through and notes on the plot.
Sometimes, I actually do the Hemingway thing and sketch out the next day’s writing the night before.

Both techniques work. I’d love to hear how you do it: You can’t write and not know where you are in space. At least if you do, it makes for one dizzy book.

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