Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Whatever Suits Your Fancy

     In accordance with the birth of Writing Wednesday and thanks to Jordan McCollum, I am happily posting one of my first 100% writing posts in a long time. Today's issue--is it okay to skip around when writing a novel? Or do you have to write it in order?
      From what I've heard, you have to write a novel in a straight line. No divergence, no change. You as the writer follow the story in sequential order, just like your readers are going to. That is what I have always been told.
     For my work, Flash, I have the first 30,000 words written like that, and they went fine. But then, I stalemated. Reached an impasse. Needed some inspiration. I knew exactly what I wanted to happen between that point and the end of the story, but just didn't know what the characters said to each other, or the little nuances (I really hope I spelled that right--sorry I'm too lazy to look it up) that fit in between the big plot arcs.
     However, I had a huge vision of what the end would look like. I could see the scene, hear the characters talking to each other, knew exactly what words they'd use. So I went ahead and wrote the ending. Now I have some 3,000 words detailing the last few chapters, while the beginning of the story waits for my love once again.
     What do you think about this? As a writer, I know--or at least hope--that you other writers wake up one day, filled with excitement (yes, that was a comma splice. Sorry.) about one particular scene or chapter. Do you go ahead and write that part? Or save it for later? What do you think about writing a story completely out of order, just writing whatever suits your fancy? We are, of course, assuming that after writing you read through the work just to make sure that it is consistent.
      Or, even better question. What do you think about writing a story backwards? *oohs from the audience*
     And that is my writing tidbit for the week. Thank you, Jordan McCullom!


  1. As much as I love to write in order, I think that if you get really excited about a scene, it's important to write it THEN. Before the excitement and all the little details just disappear.

  2. Exactly, Peggy! That's generally how I am with writing. Thanks for commenting.

  3. I've heard positives both ways.

    Personally, I've never tried non-chronological writing (for the most part; I don't think character journaling counts). I worry about getting the emotional resonance from previous scenes and events right.

    But I'm glad it helped you! Thanks for participating!


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