Kelly Haworth

Author of Queer Speculative Romance

A Scene that Sparks


I want to talk a bit about writing process. For me, there’s this moment when I’m planning out a book where a really compelling scene sticks in my head, and it becomes my driving force for writing the book. Like, I have to keep going, keep writing, so I can get to That Scene. The scene that sparks and crackles with anticipation and excitement within me, that keeps me awake at night thinking it through over and over and over.

“But Kelly, why don’t you just write that scene now? You don’t need to write in order.”

Yes, yes, true. BUT. It’s not how my brain works. I don’t want to write stuff out of order, mostly out of the idea that I’ll discover new things about my characters and my plot along the way that may change how That Scene plays out. It just doesn’t make sense to me to write out of order.

My point really is, once I know what That Scene is, I can’t get the book out of my mind until it’s written out. For Y Negative, it was the scene where (heh, spoiler) Ember holds the gun to his head. I held so much emotion that it stuck all through the nine months or so it took for me to finally get to writing it. It was one of the first scenes I thought of.

For the first novel I ever finished, I didn’t know where to go after I reached the 50% point. I floundered for at least two years before That Scene hit me—a tragic climactic ending to a character—and then I finally had the drive to write the rest of the book.

The two examples I gave were of emotionally charged negative scenes (though the Y Negative one ends good), but what I’ve noticed across all my novels is that That Scene is usually an event that triggers an evolution of a character. A moment of no turning back, a moment of discovery. Where the only way out is through.

For the book I’m working on now, Read My Mind, I ‘ve just figured out what That Scene is. And I am so friggen excited.

As for the details? You’ll just have to wait and find out.



  1. Thanks for sharing your process. I’m still figuring mine out. Maybe when I’ve written more than one book I’ll know what makes me tick tock tick tock…

    • It takes a while. I’m definitely still figuring out my own process as well, especially as my circumstances change with each book. This one feels different under a deadline. Will probably write a post about that in a month or two =)

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