1. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Writing Chapters out of Order

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Killer300, May 10, 2011.

    Okay, my question is can one just write chapters out of order and link them together as time goes on? Is this normal, or is the normal method to just write from beginning to end? The reason I say this is because I remember reading a writing guide saying you should write the most interesting parts first, and then go from there, because it would be easier. Very curious about this, to say the least.
     
  2. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    Personally, I don't even segment my writing into chapters until the revising and editing stages (though lately I've been experimenting with breaking it down as I go). I have known a few writers who do write out of order and manage to tie them all together in the end. It's all about what you're comfortable doing and making the end product something worth selling/reading.
     
  3. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Ah, I see. Thanks.:)
     
  4. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    I agree we are all as different as our fingerprints, some of us will never deviated from a rigid plan, others will write the key plot points developing character before starting in earnest from once upon a time until we write the two words 'the end.' It is a matter of what works best on a case by case basis. Whom am I to fit your square peg in my round hole ?
     
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  5. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's no "normal" way to do it, but if you think it will work for you, try it. If you struggle even more than plodding along chronologically, stop before you block yourself up. :p
     
  6. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Okay, I see. Thanks guys, this really has freed me up to say the least, and actually may also help with how my creativity works.
     
  7. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    I totally agree. Find what works for you and DO NOT CHANGE IT. If this works for you then do it. Do not let any one tell you how to write. If you are blocked up then yes try changing things up. Change the scene or the way you outline your book or what ever it takes to get through the writers block.
     
  8. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I used to write in linear order but found I was more likely to hit a wall that way. I started writing out of chronological order for my current novel (note: I've a very detailed (36k) outline) and it's been moving a lot faster and the style feels more consistent when I write what I'm enthusiastic about rather than forcing my way through scenes I'm not ready to write yet.

    As long as you can trust yourself to go back and fill in the gaps then I don't think it matters.
     
  9. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    One of my friends writes that way, and she rarely gets to the point where she fills in all the gaps. She's one of those writers who waits for inspiration for specific scenes though - pretty much NaNoWriMo is the only time she makes herself write scenes in between the interesting bits, and also the only times she finishes novels. :p I'm a bit wary of the writing scenes you like method because of that... I might have to push myself through some parts, but at least writing in order means I finish half or more of everything I start, and most things I get more than halfway through. :)
     
  10. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Ah, interesting point to keep in mind, thanks.
     
  11. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    IMO, for me,
    I can't see writing out of order. No matter how you stick it together it would seem to me to be patchwork.

    You are in a frame of mind and thinking of this one scene, then try to fit it into the rest of the story that was written in a different frame of mind and cover the holes as best as possible.

    I need to focus on the story as a whole, rather then one scene.
     
  12. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Usually, I create the outline of my story first so I have a general idea of what occurs in each chapter. Sometimes if I get bored with one chapter or find a sudden inspiration for another, I'll jump around and write in another chapter for a while. It helps keep things interesting for me.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    writing in disconnected pieces won't usually result in a seamless, flowing-well novel with a decent chance of being published... it's far more likely to lead to a ragged read full of goofs and glitches in storyline, continuity, etc.

    if anyone can do that and actually do it well, i'd be very surprised...
     
  14. DMF
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    DMF Member

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    IMO this can be a bad idea because if you change something you will have to make a lot of revisions and it could get confusing. When I have specific ideas I write them down and add them in with more detail later on.
     
  15. AvihooI
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    AvihooI Member

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    I think if you have an outline you could pretty much write in any order. The outline guarranties the boundaries each chapter/segment shall have.
     
  16. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think it's that problematic to write scenes out of order, but it more than likely will make your job as an editor more difficult and time consuming.

    I tried this for a little while, but I eventually dropped it because I was having flow issues. It was really easy to write certain scenes, but trying to write the ones that tie the two scenes together proved to be difficult. It started to look like editing would become a real issue so I scrapped it.

    There's a reason why movie's have people dedicated to editing the film. It's tough work!
     
  17. MJLowson
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    MJLowson Member

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    For my latest project I use the 'Events' tab on WYON to break down the story, into the main parts, in this case, four. Then after that, I've described the story in detailed written notes, 15 pages in total. - I've found its gone well as I can delve more into whats happening, bit by bit in the story.

    Personally switching to different parts of the story I dont think would work for me,
     
  18. Deleth
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    Deleth Member

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    I understand why some people do stories this way but personally, if I do things out of the order that I have them in my mind originally it creates a nagging little tick in the back of my mind that bothers me until I fix it. I personally find it easier to write in chronological order, but that is just my thoughts.
     
  19. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is why you go back and review/edit your work after a draft is complete.
     
  20. aimi_aiko
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    aimi_aiko Contributing Member

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    Well, in my opinion, the techniques that writers use differ from others. In your situation, some may say it's not a good idea, and some may agree with you. But whatever works for you best is what you should go for. Do what you feel is right for your piece. Seeking advice from others for this situation is okay, but I've come across a lot of threads basically asking if the method they are using is okay or normal, when in all honesty, it is no use to ask others if the method that you use is okay. If it works for you, stick to it.

    Happy Writing! :D
     
  21. The Soul Man
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    The Soul Man Member

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    An awesome thesis for non-linear storytelling would be... say Memento, Pulp Fiction, or Inception.
     
  22. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I have no particular order at all when I write, and no plan either. A scene or an image takes me and I write that. It does make for problems. I just published a short story because I wrote a prologue that I really liked but the rest of the novel that started forming around it, simply didn't work with it.Thus the prologue became a short story. And with my first novel it was actually two completely different stories which one day I realised fitted together as one. After that of course I had a major headache with continuity and so forth, but it was worth it in the end. And the latest one I'm working on, I have three different endings for.

    For me the organic approach is best since it means that whatever I'm writing is the part I want to be writing at that time. Writing to a plan would I think stultify me.

    But thats just me. Write how you want to write, how you feel it works, and let it flow. Issues of continuity and seemlessness are stuff that you can pick up in editing.

    Cheers.
     
  23. Mobhit
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    Mobhit Senior Member

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    I am writing Per Character much like Martin in A Song of Ice and Fire, I find that for me that is the easiest.
     
  24. JayFS
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    JayFS New Member

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    Writing Chapters out of order can prove to be troublesome in the long run if you don't know how your story is going to pan out beforehand. If you already have the plot and the timeline set, then feel free to write the interesting scenes in whatever order. Otherwise you're going to write on impulse and, in the end, will try to create links between chapters that simply don't make sense.
     
  25. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    I think so, so long as you have a sense of what will go in between. I also think the kind of story dictates if you would be able to do that successfully.
     

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