ScaffoldingPosted: October 25, 2011
Good writing today, although I feel virtually certain this scene will not make the final cut. There’s not much action besides drinking lemonade and taking a bath; there’s a certain amount of playing with themes, but I suspect even this will turn out to be an understudy for better handling of the same themes later.
Why write it, then, if I already know that? Well, it’s because I need to understand what happens in this scene – in an irritating amount of detail – before I can write other, better scenes.
I try to skip ahead sometimes, but it rarely works. I’m someone who needs a very strong foundation to build on, because I’m not just throwing up a tool shed, here. I’m building a cathedral, maybe, or a skyscraper, or the Taj Mahal. Seraphina is part of that foundation, yes, but it’s not sufficient in itself. This book is sending up spires in other directions, and they have to be able to stand.
Or maybe a painting metaphor would be more apt. I’m painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling, but I can’t just throw paint upwards and hope. There’s scaffolding that has to be built so I can do my job. Some scenes are like scaffolding: they hold me up while I write other scenes, and then they are removed. But I can’t just skip them. I’m not magic; I can’t reach the ceiling without a place to stand.
Scaffolding is ugly and cluttered, I admit, but once it’s gone you can’t even tell where it stood. All that’s left is ceiling.