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  1. VioletBlade
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    VioletBlade Member

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    Writing a Novel from Beginning to End

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by VioletBlade, Mar 11, 2012.

    Forgive me if there are any topics that cover this question already, but I tried searching for them and didn't come up with anything. However, it was really difficult to know which key words to include! Anyway, I've read a couple of the topics started by those starting out their novel, which is what I am doing as well, and one in particular that caught my attention was one that asked how to start your novel. Some of the replies included finding main conflicts/events/plot points within it, figuring those out and writing the important scenes dealing with that. That's something I've never been able to do. When I write, and I've written a lot (though mostly fanfiction, as embarrassing as that is to admit sometimes, and not much original stuff) but throughout whatever I write, I feel like I must write from the opening of the book to the end. I can't skip around. I know that's some people's way to write, but it's not mine. Should it be though? How do you ignore the almost need to write scenes in proper chronological order, if you do? Sometimes it gets on my nerves, the way I write, because there are more exciting things I could be writing about, but I just can't seem to get myself to jump and write those scenes! Any tips?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    For your first draft, just write it in whatever order is easiest for you. If you aren't comfortable with writing scenes out of order, put them as separate documents in one folder, to make it easier to reorder them later.

    Second draft is a fine time to select the order in which scenes appear in the story, and to strike out scenes that don't contribute to the story (no matter how awesome the scenes are!)
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I write in chronological order and see nothing wrong with it, nor do i think fanfiction is anything to be ashamed of. I wrote a piece once and to write good fanfiction is much more difficult than writing good original fiction, at least i found.

    As long as you are reaching the end of pieces of writing and are happy with what you are producing that is all that matters.

    There are as many methods of writing as there are writers and it is only wrong if it is working and discontented with it.
     
  4. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    As I read your resumé of that advice it doesn't seem to me that the person said you have to write it randomly, just that you should know a few milestones along the way and work your way towards them from beginning to end. It helps if you know where you're going in the story and having the major plot- or turning points identified can be of great help in directing your characters from A to B.
     
  5. VioletBlade
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    VioletBlade Member

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    Oh, I'm sorry! I did mean that they said to skip over to the more main events in a story, and write those first then go back and add the little conflicts and details after. Long gone are the days where I've written without at least a tentative outline so I know where I'm going with the story! (Talk about plot holes)
     
  6. Justin Nemo
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    Justin Nemo New Member

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    I think I have to agree with Cogito. When writing a long story, sometimes you can get bogged down in the detail. That's when writer's block can creep in. At these times, I skip to writing another scene and find that when I come back to the place I was stuck, my mind is fresher.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I find if I skip around in drafts all I'd have left at the end is the contemplation/less interesting transition parts. When I don't skip around I'm forced to make them as interesting and gripping as the big events. I'm happy in the first draft for them to be complete fluff and I make them better next time round. (I tend to use a lot of magic, sex and dialogue as filler lol - that comes out in the next draft) none of it is wasted, it is all writing practice and helps deepen my understanding of the story and characters.
     
  8. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    I'D read that! :D

    I'm like you and VioletBlade - I can't skip about from one plot point scene to another, or I'd have a really disjointed novel because the connective tissue wouldn't be created organically as I go along, it would just be tacked on as an afterthought. If I'm 'in the moment' of those connecting scenes then I'm giving them my full attention, making them interesting and in and of themselves. I don't like just rushing through them to get to the next big set piece.

    And as much as I know where my novel is going, and a few of the stops along the way, I don't necessarily know what's going to happen on the journey between them. The songs get played on the radio, the games the passengers play to pass the time... this stuff can end up affecting the mood they arrive at the final destination in, if indeed they end up where they originally planned at all ;)
     
  9. LTC
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    LTC Member

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    I used to feel a similar need to write events sequentially, but now I can't much bear the thought! The lack of authenticity between written events is what I imagine to be the main reason writers may choose to write chronologically. There are ways to escape that, however. I'll usually leave room for transitions at the beginning and ends of my scenes by vaguely referencing something that's happened(or will happen, depending), even if I haven't written it yet and have no clue what it is. Usually an idea for a transition will strike me and I'll find myself revising only the first and last paragraphs of the out-of-place scene to adjust the flow, and the rest of the scene remains completely untouched! Even if I don't think of a transition, though, I can get away with linking events or adding slow-paced filler scenes.

    Of course, the only pre-planning I do outside my head before writing is worldbuilding and some brief characterization. I find myself more comfortable charging headfirst into the unknown rather than preparing for it, and I think it shows(in a good way!)
     
  10. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, ok. Either way I think you should ignore what people tell you you "Should" do and do what works for you. There is no precise or "right" way to do it, only ways that work and ways that doesn't. and everyone has to figure out for themselves which is which because it's strictly individual. as long as you get the novel written that is all that matters.
     
  11. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    ^^This, exactly what i wanted to say. If you're writing because it's something that makes you and you enjoy it then forget rules and jolt down that story. Doesn't matter in which sequence as long as that's what makes you feel comfortable and makes the experience enjoyable.
     
  12. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Write in sequence or not; use an outline or not; edit as you go or not. Try things and see what works for you - ie, what allows you to finish the story. That's the only important thing, not how you get there.

    (Oh - and I've written tons of fan fiction - all of which I'm quite proud of. :D)
     

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