Dreams_1_x_1.3Heidi M. Thomas, author of Cowgirl Dreams, checks in with a post on how to get through the swampy part of your story to the wonderful rolling meadow of a scene that is sitting on your head, just waiting to be written.

One idea she suggests: Take the story out of order.

She writes:

But wait. Who says you have to write in a linear fashion? What if you write out of sequence? Aha! Now, you’ve given yourself permission to write the scene from your head and it flows wonderfully. Another Aha! Questions and solutions actually appear about how the character might have arrived here from there. You’re not stuck any more.

This is a wonderful counterbalance to my advice, which is much more brutish: Just write. Even if you know it’s utter crap. Even if you know that never in a thousand years will it hold up under the rewriting/revision stage. Even if you know that you’d rather dive naked into a swimming pool filled with razor blades than publish such pablum. Just write.

Both approaches have merit — the just-write ethos is mostly a product of my journalism training, where not writing is not an option — but I think Heidi’s suggestion is more elegant, and it probably has the potential for more pleasant surprises as your story bends inevitably from its original conception. Either way, be prepared for the retrofitting you’ll have to do. Heidi’s approach may require some extensive rewiring of scenes that you’ve already written. Mine will wear out your delete key.