1. Rumwriter
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    Rumwriter Active Member

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    Jumping around when writing series'

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Rumwriter, Jul 16, 2011.

    The story I've been working on now is a long series. I've been tackling the first book in the series, but I have pretty much the basic ideas for the plots of all of the books and honestly some things that don't happen for a long time are getting really exciting for me to write.

    so I'm wondering if anyone else jumps around when writing multiple books to keep it all interesting. and are there any major drawbacks to doing this?
     
  2. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Several people will tell you, and I suppose they're telling you rightly, that there's nothing wrong with writing all the parts that you're motivated to write in a story and then coming back to fill in the blanks later.

    That though, in my opinion, will take a lot of forethought, planning, and perseverance. More so than writing it from beginning to end, so to speak.
    You need to know what's going on in every scene perfectly, which means you basically need to have already written the story, but for the well-developed prose of it. You also need to accept that once you finish all the fun bits, to finish it you have to have the gruelling labour of fill-in work.

    That said, if you just really want to write the ending of the second part and then a romance scene from the third part, and then the ritual in which the hero is resurrected in the fifth, followed by the entire first half of the first part, then that's your gig. It's your right and privilege as a writer to write it in whatever order you prefer.
     
  3. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it's just one book I think jumping around can actually be a good idea, as you get goals to reach for and that usually makes the story more structured, unless you change your mind on the way of course. But when it comes to series, then I don't think it's a good idea. It's simply so long between them and unless you can type up a whole book in a few days, there's going to be a long time before you reach the scenes and a lot of stuff can happen with the story, the characters, you even, in that time, so one could say it's a waste of time. But of course all writing is practice, and if you feel you're getting a little tired of your story, writing some scenes you want to, can help you get inspired again. Just don't make the story suffer just so that you can keep them the way they were.
     
  4. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    That's a good planning idea. Im writing a series of 9 books but it might evolve into 10 or 11 books depending on the events......
     
  5. whitefairy24601
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    whitefairy24601 Member

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    Honestly, it is your story and you are the author. If you want to jump around, why not? It is your style as an author and you should embrace it. Maybe some of us don't like skipping and some of us do and well, you do. So skip around and have fun! That's what I view writing is, not a chore. So write what you want, and if you skip and later it doesn't work, then change it!
     
  6. animefans12
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    animefans12 Member

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    Skipping around while writing series isn't always as bad as you thought. Actually, if you like it like what whitefairy24601 said, then go for it! Doing something you don't like to do isn't worth it and when you do something that you feel confident in doing, then just do it.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If this is the first book you are writing, you should not be thinking in terms of a series.

    I will say that if this book does turn into a part of a series, there is no reason you cannot have other books fall into different points in the timeline in any sequence you like.

    But thinking in terms of a series now is a bad idea. It will make you hold back, to leave things for other books or to set up plot lines that won't go anywhere in this book.

    It's important to keep your focus on this one book. Put everything into it. This may be the only book you write, or the only one you sell. And if you want this book to sell, it must be complete in itself, not just a warm up pitch.
     
  8. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Agree with Cog. If you've written a number of books and churn out a novel every few months then shifting your focus from one book to another is fine. But if you haven't completed one book yet, I'd consider this jumping around business highly inimical to your cause. Finishing your first novel is an achievement, a significant milestone. Finishing the first hundred pages of five different books is not.
     
  9. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm working on a massive series at the moment... I've got plans for 8 books, and I'm onto the 4th, while I have ideas to take me at least 12 down the line, if not more, though the plots get more and more vague as I go :p

    Anyways, I've mostly stuck to writing in order, at least initially. In first draft state, I've basically gone chronologically, for the simple matter that until the last few months I didn't actually know what was going to happen. Even now it's rather unclear to me in a lot of places... Mind you, the plot of the 4th book is also unclear to me and I'm there. :p I have written snippets of things that probably won't even be included for future books and in my head planned quite elaborate scenes and plotlines, but I won't commit too much to paper just because in a 12 book series, things CHANGE.

    Character motivation, emotional weighting of certain things, themes, and all the stuff that comes out of the plot rather than the storyline itself are all open for interpretation. At the moment I'd probably venture to write the 5th book if I wanted to, because it's told in isolation and the character has always been disconnected from the emotional paths the other 3 POV characters take. But for everyone else - even for future scenes in the mostly-unwritten 4th book, I would not dare commit anything to paper officially. Maybe I would flesh out an idea for a future scene, but when it comes to it once I've written up to it chronologically I'd re-write it from scratch, just bearing in mind what I wrote before rather than copying it. Because as well as I know general motivation and what the character's been through, I can't know what they'll be thinking at the time.


    However, as possibly hinted, these novels are in 1st person. It may be different with 3rd person where you don't have to rely so hard on the mood of the narrator to get you through a scene.
     

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