1. Baller Dale
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    Baller Dale Member

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    Do you always write stories chronologically?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Baller Dale, Mar 24, 2012.

    I've planned out my story with vague bullet points, but don't know if I should start from the beginning. I've never wrote a short story before and I'm a little nervous that it won't be good enough! Is it always best to write from beginning to end; or do you sometimes write parts and rearrange them later?

    Also, assuming I start from the beginning, if I feel like my first couple of paragraphs aren't good enough, should I edit them or carry on writing and edit the whole thing when it's done?

    Thanks :D
     
  2. Pchew
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    Pchew Member

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    I say write from the beginning to end :). I would think if you put it together in bits and pieces, some parts of the story would have a different feel than the other parts. If you start from the beginning, you stick to the same feeling... if that makes sense... haha. That's just my opinion :)

    Edit: And keep editing them until you feel their good enough! :). Nothing is going to be perfect though.
     
  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    No I don't, but I write novels, not short stories. I have no experience of them, but I think it's different. I can imagine when you don't deal with units like chapters as in novels, it might be better to start from the beginning, but that is only my idea. Someone that writes short stories will have to give you a better advice. Normally I'd say no choice is better or worse when it comes to things like this. Try different approaches and see what works best for you. You also shouldn't bother about having to do either or regarding editing, do what comes naturally. if you feel it's easier to have the story written first and edit later and are afraid to lose momentum, do that. If you feel you want it to be perfect before you move on, do that. there are no rights or wrongs. Only different ways of writing.
     
  4. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    Tesoro's got it. It's up to how you write best. Try all ways to see what works for you. I don't do short stories either, I usually skip parts and come back to them later in my novels and I don't edit as I go. But, there's plenty of people on here who will advocate editing as you go and linear writing.
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't advocate linear writing as a rule. I write the scenes as they occur to me, or as I want. The first scene I wrote of my novel turned out to be the beginning of Chapter Four. I've read many interviews with writers who say similar things - build from where you can. Sometimes the beginning doesn't reveal itself to you until you've written quite a bit, even a whole draft.

    So you don't have to start at the beginning of your story. You don't even have to know where your story begins when you start to write it. Rest assured, at some point the beginning will pop up, and that beginning may surprise you.
     
  6. jc.
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    jc. Contributing Member

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    For the most part I do write things chronologically, but every now and then a special scene comes to me and I just have to get it down. I can't resist being inspired and in the zone.
     
  7. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    Oh, it depends. I have always a good backstory for ALL my characters, so once in a while the past pops up. Though...
    I said it in another thread: Whatever floats your boat. I write stories chronologically, but not everyone has to be like that. Try a little of everything, I say. There's always the delete button :D
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Are you asking whether we always write the scenes in chronological order?
    Or whether we always write them in the order they appear in the fnal story?
    Or whether we always place the scenes chronologically in the manuscript?

    In my case, no to all three. Mostly I write them in the order they will appear in the manuscript, which is mostly, but not necessarily all, chronological. But I do sometimes write a scene out of sequence. Also, I may rearrange the order in which some scenes appear after I have written them.
     
  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I see no particular reason to write chronologically. However, keep in mind that my writing philosophy tends to be "Just write!" and I _always_ assume that there will be a great deal of rewriting, rearranging, cutting out, inserting, and so on. The first draft is nothing more than the rawest of raw material. If and when I get better at this I might have a more orderly process, though I doubt it - I suspect that no matter how much better I get, the incredibly rough draft will remain a permanent part of my process.
     
  10. Erato
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    Erato Contributing Member

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    I always write chronologically. It helps me with the characters' reactions if I haven't already seen exactly what is going to happen. Because the characters don't know what happens next. It also helps me keep track of the plot. It's like building a bridge. I always build a bridge from one side only. There's a story about people building a bridge from two sides, and when they came to the middle, the two ends didn't meet. But do what works for you.
     
  11. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    Edit the whole thing when you have at least a rough first draft. Editing after every paragraph will considerably slow down the process of getting your story out on the paper.

    Chronological order is not necessary. While writing short stories I usually try to think of an ending and write it down first. I may not (alright, almost never) retain this ending when I have my manuscript, but it gives me direction as to where my story is heading when I construct my plot. This is my way of ensuring that I have a complete story rather than a half-story.
     
  12. DaVinci
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    DaVinci Banned

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    First I pretend play the story out in the woods somewhere. Next, I begin writing after I have a good idea.
     
  13. jo spumoni
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    jo spumoni Active Member

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    There's no right way to write a short story, and there's certainly no "always." My basic advice is to start at the part of the story that you think is most important. You know that part you've been imagining in your head for weeks? Try writing it, even if it isn't the beginning. Once you have that important aspect, you can kind of write around it.

    The editing of the first paragraphs also varies. I would say that if you're stressing about every word you put down to the point where you're not producing anything, you probably should shut the editing voice off for a while and just write. Editing can come later, but you can't edit what you haven't written.

    Note that these are opinions. I'm not all that experienced, and everyone is different. Good luck with your story.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto all jo had to say...
     
  15. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I write short stories basically the same as the longer ones - chronologically, no outline, edit as I go. I make notes of ideas for later things, but otherwise that's it. But as always, whatever works for you works the best. :)
     

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