I'm finding novel writing to be much like climbing a tree. There's a solid trunk - a character with a past that can't be changed, events that are in place that give me footing to climb and branch out from. The trick is in finding the right branches to put my weight on. What limbs does she need to go out on in order for her story to realize it's full arc?
On my desktop at this moment are three open documents. One is titled "New", the next "Scraps of New" and the last, "More Scraps of New." New is my trunk. It's forty solid pages of writing that can't and/or shouldn't be changed - save for editing and rewording upon revision, of course.
The two Scraps documents each contain pages of scenes that could take place. Branches that I haven't yet decided to put my full weight on. The story itself is fluid enough that there isn't one specific chain of events that could lead to the ultimate catharsis I have envisioned for the end.
Is that strange? To know the general direction your character must go emotionally/relationally, and the conclusion they will arrive at - but to not have a firm grasp on what exactly will transpire to bring the protagonist to that point?
Strange or not, it's part of my scattered process in this new journey of novel writing. Very different from short story writing. More difficult, for me. I am not a terribly focused person.
Case in point, the documents on my desktop (and the multiple other "scraps of" documents in my files), and also the bagel that I just burnt in my toaster oven while writing this.