1. Maroon
    Offline

    Maroon Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    2

    Linear writing, or scenes as they come to you?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Maroon, Jun 14, 2009.

    Hey guys.

    I'm curious. Do you tend to write one chapter following another, in a linear manner? Or do you jump around on the timeline of your novel, writing scenes as they come to you?

    Personally, I have a clear beginning, mid-point and ending in mind for my story, but find it easier to hop back and forth in the plot when putting pen to paper. (Or fingers to keys. Whatever.)

    How about you?

    Maroon x
     
  2. Tobinobin
    Offline

    Tobinobin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    3
    I usually write linear - do you mean say writing chapter 1 then chapter 4 then going back to 2?

    I don't know anyone that does that - sounds quite a weird method.
     
  3. Maroon
    Offline

    Maroon Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yep, that's exactly what I mean.

    I could very well write chapter 6, then hop to 10, then back to 7.

    That isn't to suggest that I don't know what will happen in chapters 7-9 if I hop to 10, or that I don't have at least have a rough sketch in my mind, but they aren't yet set down on paper.

    The obvious obstacle with this method is the great deal of revision it requires, i.e. to achieve a good flow through the finalised chapters. But nevertheless, it feels organic to me, where as forcing myself form one chapter to the next can feel restrictive.

    I wonder if this really is all that unusual ?

    M.
     
  4. Gallowglass
    Offline

    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,617
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Loch na Seilg, Alba
    I attempted it with one story, but I'm back on linear writing now.
     
  5. Maroon
    Offline

    Maroon Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    2
    I guess that the answer is 'do what works for you'. But isn't that always the answer? ;)

    Really I'm just curious to see what the split is on this.
     
  6. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    I do both. I tend to write linearly for short stories and jump around for longer pieces.
     
  7. Annûniel
    Offline

    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Ye Old Dominion, USA
    I find linear writing to be too constrictive. I started that way when I first started writing my current book, but I eventually moved onto writing scenes as they came. If I felt inspired to write a particular scene later in the book, I'm not going to try to force it back by writing something in order. I might lose the inspiration and who knows if I'll get it back at the right time!
     
  8. TheFedoraPirate
    Offline

    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    1
    I write scene by scene by as they come to me but when I figure out how these all fit into the plot as I outline it I start to move to a more linear progression fitting in pre-written scenes where they seem to go. After I've got everything down I refine and rearrange it as needed.
     
  9. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,528
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Linear. I write from chapter one (or the first scene for a short story) until the end.

    It's just the way I think and it's easier for me to keep track of what happened, what was said and when. Also, it allows me to be more consistent in character development and even dialogue, making for less revision after the first draft.

    Terry
     
  10. Smithy
    Offline

    Smithy Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    I tried skipping around once, but I found that I couldn't keep a handle on the characters. I need to write linearly in order that I can keep track of how they've all developed and how far along their arc they are.

    Different strokes, I suppose.
     
  11. Kysun
    Offline

    Kysun New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    ...Both?
    I jot down ideas as they come to me and visit them at a later date.
    Does that count? :D
     
  12. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,837
    Likes Received:
    10,013
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Absolutely nothing linear about my writing method. Scenes come as they come.
     
  13. Leah Woods
    Offline

    Leah Woods Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Mostly linear. I once tried skipping around and ended with tons of different scenes none of them usable. Though, sometimes when I get this great idea for a scene I write it down, but when it's finished, I just know I won't be able to use it later.Things usually change in meantime :D
     
  14. Kersme
    Offline

    Kersme New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    I jump a lot between chapters. The novel I'm working on now has 34 chapters in various stages of completion. The bit I write depends on my mood so there is nothing linear about the way I write :)
     
  15. nativesodlier
    Offline

    nativesodlier Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    I usually know the gist of where my stories gonna go and suck and I write huge chunks linear but sometimes I get a great idea for a twist or scene and I just write it and copy and paste it when I reach it in my story. had 5 pages that went no where until I was about 50 pages into the story.

    The only problem that I ran into with this method is you are more likely to create plot holes.
     
  16. lovely
    Offline

    lovely Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know my basic plot, and I start writing scenes out of order. I don't necessarily finish them though. Then I come back to the and finish them in order for a while, and then I jump around some more. I guess I just do a little bit of both.
     
  17. seta
    Offline

    seta Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    2
    I do a very non-linear brainstorming session where I craft the premise, characters, and story outline. I think of things/places/events that I want to include in my story and spit it all out.

    Then, after I sit on that for I while, I write out a clear sequence of events, roughly a chapter guide. I have a rough idea of each scene in sequence at this point, but invariably, there is change as the story demands it.

    Then I just set the characters in the world I've created and press "Play" and it goes from there.
     
  18. BillyxRansom
    Offline

    BillyxRansom Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    1
    This is a huge problem for me. I'll go on tangents trying to write my way through my created world, only to make little to no sense. Then when I go to ask for critique, I wonder why everyone reacts as though they would give me a look as if I had six heads were I able to see their faces.
     
  19. seta
    Offline

    seta Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    2
    You guys ought to try and watch Star Wars with the audio commentary on. George Lucas often talks about story elements and the way he crafted his epic stories seems so offhanded... he says things like "Well, I decided that I needed to show a bit more friendship between Anakin and Obi-wan so I added this scene here..." or "This wasn't really working and it didn't fit in with other parts so we just gave up and cut it out altogether."

    There's a lot of real gems in the audio commentary. I'm sure some other great stories have good commentary as well.
     
  20. nativesodlier
    Offline

    nativesodlier Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    Exactly!

    @Seta: Hmmm sounds beneficial, I will give that a try. Oh and im sure that having some over lap or loop holes in a story in the rough draft stage would give a lot of room to play be creative, just sometimes its a little much and some of the parts you decide to keep wont match up with the better parts of another area in the story and it just gets all crazy and diluted. Its like a hefty kid on a pogo stick; you know how its suppose to go, but it just isn't happening....... no offense to the hefty kids out there.
     
  21. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    I tend to create an outline of the story in a strictly linear order first, so that I can get all the key details down, and often while I'm doing that I'll start having better ideas, and then once you have that you can decide if things would be better moved around, if it would make more sense to show A before B, or D before C. In terms of writing a thematically logical story, I tend to wait til I have a first draft down first, then go back and decide what things should be brought out, what things are most important, what I'm really trying to say with a certain part. So I guess the first draft is more or less linear, but after that you can get creative.
     
  22. lyethia
    Offline

    lyethia Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    I kinda do what you do, Maroon, though usually when I write scenes I don't even fit them into my story. I make a scene, work off it, then keep writing linearly until another great scene comes to me. I write that scene, then go back to writing linearly. Etc, etc.

    Linear writing is boring, imo. Writing works best when you feel passionate about it; thus, write when you're passionate. The editing process will smooth any errant corners from your scenes anyway.
     
  23. tbeverley
    Offline

    tbeverley Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    1
    I jump. My brother calls it "Space Jumping."

    My word document is currently 144 pages of plot, organized with titled chapter headings and below each chapter the notes for that particular chapter.

    I write page one. When I'm bored, I scroll through the text of notes until I find something I feel like writing about, then write that. So far, I have chapters all over the place, but in perfect order.

    There are approximately 50-80 pages completely written, the first 20 chapters are done, and there are bits and pieces - a paragraph here and there - throughout.

    That's the method that suits me best. I can't write linearly, because I have to write about the part I'm interested in at the moment.
     

Share This Page