Writing out of order or not?

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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by cheekychook » March 21st, 2011, 9:24 pm

"I'm out of order. You're out of order. This whole court is out of order!'

Sorry, just having an Al Pacino moment. It happens.

I write totally out of order. Sort of. I can't actually start writing anything at all until I have the whole plot in my head, so I already know my characters and what happens to them in the end.

When it comes to the actual writing, I write the scenes as I see them. And I have to see them before I can write them. It's hard to explain. I rarely see them in order. There's usually a pivotal scene in the middle that I'll see clearly first. Then I may see a few earlier scenes and a few later ones, I almost always see the final scene way before I see the scenes that immediately lead up to it.

Just knowing the plot is not enough. I need to actually visualize each particular scene playing out in my head. Hear the characters talking. When a certain scene plays, then I know that's the scene I have to write, regardless of where it falls in the lineup. It's like transcribing a memory. Or a dream.

Once I have the vast majority of scenes written that way, then I can go back and fill in any missing pieces, though I still have to wait until I see them even to write the missing transitional scenes.

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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by sierramcconnell » March 22nd, 2011, 9:39 am

I used to be a pantser. I would just write as it came, straight from the beginning.

Then I planned the last one and I loved it so much that I haven't really been able to pants since. I wrote straight through that thing so fast because I knew where to go and how to get there. I edited through it quickly and knew what to do, so it worked great.

Now I'm planning the next one of the first series before I start because I want to have an idea of what to do because it was so hard to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite again when I didn't have a plan or plot. It was terribly stressful to lose so much work all the time and waste so much energy on things I couldn't get to mesh together.

I write in order, from the beginning, because I know where to go, and if I don't, it might not flow correctly, or something that should be mentioned, might not be. I'm too detailed not to write in order. :3
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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by Margo » March 22nd, 2011, 11:27 am

Even though I'm an outliner, I write in order so I can preserve the emotional continuity. I usually start the day's writing by reading the previous day's work so I can remind myself where the characters are in intellectual and emotional terms. It's easier for me to do this than to come back during rewrites and try to fix wide unexplained swings of emotion or flights of thinking where the intensity levels from one scene to the next don't quite line up, like a roller coaster with track sections that don't connect. As the old saying goes, close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades.
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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by Kendal » March 22nd, 2011, 9:53 pm

I write crazy, mixed-up out-of-order.

I used to think that I was absolutely required to write my scenes in order, but it was driving me crazy. I kept trying to think of ways to start my story and lead into things while my brain was preoccupied with all the scenes from later on that I could already picture. My new thing is to get all the scenes in my head written and out of the way, and then I go back to the beginning and start filling stuff in. Sometimes it changes the outcome for later on and those middle scenes get axed, but with a first draft things are going to be overhauled anyway so I don't mind so much. If I forced myself to write in order, I'd probably end up with a crappy beginning that I'd have to scrap. At least this way my mind can stay happy.

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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by Robin » March 24th, 2011, 10:04 pm

I tried to write linearly, but it didn't work for me. But after I wrote the end (or the 3rd part if you think of 3 part structure) my beginning seemed to just flow.
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Re: Writing out of order or not?

Post by wordranger » March 26th, 2011, 11:50 pm

I write out of order a lot recently. The only problem is, that my characters age a lot in my novel. They start out at 6, and they end at 15-16. When you write out of order with an age difference like that, sometimes you end up with hyper-intelligent sounding seven year olds!

(Thank goodness for beta-readers who can point out little flaws like that!)
Words are your friend.
Don't be afraid to lose yourself in them.

Jennifer Eaton, WordRanger
My Novelette LAST WINTER RED will be published by J. Taylor Publishing in December, 2012

Take a Step into My World and Learn From My Mistakes http://www.jennifermeaton.com/

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