Writing out of order or not?

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vasilisa
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Writing out of order or not?

Post by vasilisa » March 18th, 2011, 1:14 pm

What's your process like? Do you write scenes out of order? Do you write the beginning and the end first, then fill in the middle? Or do you write straight on through, saving the delicious end for the very last?

I write completely out of order. I wrote the end first, then the beginning, now I have several scenes from the middle written. It's an ongoing thing. The thing I like about it is shuffling the scenes and putting them at different points in the story to see where they might work better, The only problem I have is those pesky info-dump flashbacks. I think I've fixed the problem by setting those points in time in the past from another character's POV.

How do you do it? I'm interested!

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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by Guardian » March 18th, 2011, 1:29 pm

Same here. I also write completely out of order. First and last chapters first, then the rest. Sometimes I also write some chapters and scenes between them, then I connect th dots. i.e.: One of my WIPs is 24 chapters long, but the last chapter what I written was Chapter 20.
The only problem I have is those pesky info-dump flashbacks.
Don't be cruel with yourself. Flashbacks are providing information. If they're necessary, they're not infodumps at all.

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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by Sommer Leigh » March 18th, 2011, 2:05 pm

I have to write in order. If I try to write out of order I become completely paralyzed. Chapter 1 comes before Chapter 2, you know?
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
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polymath
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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by polymath » March 18th, 2011, 3:10 pm

A rather artful and insightful essay discussing a step-by-step process of composition from inspiration to ulitimate completion.

Edgar Allan Poe writing about composing "The Raven," "The Philosophy of Composition," 1846, hosted by the American Studies program of the University of Virginia.

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/poe/composition.html
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CharleeVale
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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by CharleeVale » March 18th, 2011, 3:17 pm

If nothing's in my head I write in order, just going and going. But if I get inspiration for a scene or the end I'll write that. Some scenes have popped into my head, fully formed, with dialogue! Love that!

CV

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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by Moni12 » March 18th, 2011, 3:59 pm

I usually write in order, but if I have a really great idea for a particular scene I'll write it out before I forget about it and put it in when I come to that part.

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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by Netti » March 18th, 2011, 4:07 pm

I have to write in order so I no where it's going. Seriously, I'm so obsessive/pathetic about this that if I can't think of a name for something I'll sit and stare at my computer screen until I at least come up with a decent filler word. I can't just keep going and come back to it later. Sometimes if I have issues with a scene I'll skip ahead but then it bugs me so much that I go back to it almost immediately.
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Cookie
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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by Cookie » March 18th, 2011, 4:15 pm

I write completely and beautifully out of order. That's just how the scenes come to me. And like Charleevale, they come to me fully formed sometimes with dialogue. Sometimes those connect the dot scenes will take forever to come.

Netti, I will sometimes sit and stare at the computer screen if I can't think of a word too. My MS is full of filler words because I get word block on occasion and think of the word I actually want to use.

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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by Leila » March 18th, 2011, 4:23 pm

For me it depends what genre I'm writing in, strangely enough. But usually I find, rather than following an 'order' as such, it's just following the flow of the story which usually takes me along in an 'orderly' fashion. Occasionally, though, something special pops into my head and I have to follow the new scene, line of thought, dialogue whatever, then go back to where I was.

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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by Mike R » March 18th, 2011, 6:51 pm

I write in order because I don't know what's going to happen until I write it. If I were to write a scene near the end of the book I would have to steer the story to it. That's not the way it works for me.

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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by Claudie » March 19th, 2011, 4:12 pm

I always write in order. I've tried skipping a scene when I was blocked, but I panic and freeze. The most I can do is note a couple of lines for a future scene. Never the whole of it.
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Beethovenfan
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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by Beethovenfan » March 19th, 2011, 7:23 pm

Sommer Leigh wrote:I have to write in order. If I try to write out of order I become completely paralyzed. Chapter 1 comes before Chapter 2, you know?
Sommer, I am like this too. But, I do have ideas in my head for scenes that I aim the story toward. However, I have found that if I write the scene when it comes to me, that the stuff in the middle leading up to that scene has taken a different path and the awesome scene I wrote does'nt really fit, and I now have a fantastic scene that I can't use. I might use bits and pieces, but inevitably it ends up entirely different. So, I just postpone it until I need it. THEN I write it. I have entire chapters that will never get used. But I don't ever just throw them away. There may be something in them I can use later. I believe in recycling! :)
"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine."
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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by AintTellin » March 21st, 2011, 12:10 pm

I write in order straight from start to finish. The first draft I only right action and dialogue, which gets me to about 45k. After that I go back and add the background information and more discription. Its my first WIP, but it seems to be working pretty well. Makes is very easy to control the pace, and that background information is provided in the correct places.
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Sommer Leigh
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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by Sommer Leigh » March 21st, 2011, 12:18 pm

Beethovenfan wrote:
Sommer Leigh wrote:I have to write in order. If I try to write out of order I become completely paralyzed. Chapter 1 comes before Chapter 2, you know?
Sommer, I am like this too. But, I do have ideas in my head for scenes that I aim the story toward. However, I have found that if I write the scene when it comes to me, that the stuff in the middle leading up to that scene has taken a different path and the awesome scene I wrote does'nt really fit, and I now have a fantastic scene that I can't use. I might use bits and pieces, but inevitably it ends up entirely different. So, I just postpone it until I need it. THEN I write it. I have entire chapters that will never get used. But I don't ever just throw them away. There may be something in them I can use later. I believe in recycling! :)
Yes! If I try to write something out of order (and I manage to get past the panic and freezing) I will either try to unnaturally steer my story towards it, which always proves troublesome in the end, or the scene doesn't fit quite like I'd originally intended it and I have to rewrite it anyway. If I get an idea for the future I make a note of it and move on.

I do not want to even imagine the chaos I'd bring down on my poor nervous system if I tried to write an ending before I actually got there.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

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PhilipIsles
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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by PhilipIsles » March 21st, 2011, 2:29 pm

Writing out of order is fine so long as you have an outline. I think narrative structure is more important in childrens literature than anywhere else. Here's why

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