In working on my novel, I'm realizing that one working style is not going to carry me through the whole process. I started out able to write scenes in the order I imagined them appearing in the book. I got through the first few chapters doing that. Then, I got completely blocked. The idea of tackling the next chapter scared me because I didn't know enough about what was going to happen there.
So I stopped writing for a week or so. Then my husband asked me to read an exercise he was working on for a class he's taking on writing the mystery novel. The exercise entailed writing one scene, about a time when the main character felt his or her life changing very quickly. I read B's scene and was totally inspired. Not only was his scene good, it reminded me that I don't have to write a chapter at a time. I can write scene by scene. One scene! That's all I have to do to keep going.
And that is what I have been doing. Imagining one scene that I believe will occur in the book, thinking about it over the course of a day or two, and then writing it out on paper. I'm saving each as an individual Word file, organized into folders around the theme of the scenes or whose in them, such as "mother", "father", "break up", etc. That way, when I go to plug them into chapters, I can find the pieces that belong in each.
B is doing the same thing, and he's looking for more exercises to give him ideas about the kinds of scenes to write. So what do you think? What ideas to you have for exercises in scene writing?