1. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Writing out of order

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Protar, Feb 20, 2012.

    In my current WIP I've decided to write the story out of order. My story takes place from several POV's so rather than writing chronologically I've decided to write all the chapters for one POV and then all the chapters for the next etc. So far I think it's revitalised my writing as I don't have to go ages before writing the exciting stuff. I was just wondering whether anyone else does something like this and if it's advisable in general.
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have done that for an occasional chapter, but not a whole story. I found even then that I had to be very careful, when I put it together in order, to check for inconsistencies. But that, and being able to accurately re-arrange an entire book, would be my only concerns. You may want to figure out some way of keeping track of things as you move along (unless you already have an outline to help with that).
     
  3. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Yeah I think I'm going to have a basic outline of what chapter/event will go where before I write it, and then I can say like: "this event comes before that, so so and so hasn't arrived at this place yet.." etc.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    could be very confusing for [and annoying to] the readers... even with those explanations, i can see the poor reader having to keep flipping back and forth from the current chapter to prior ones, in order to figure out what the bleep is happening to whom when...
     
  5. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    No, the story is going to be in proper chronological order (roughly anyway, some events will have to overlap.). But I'm simply writing it out of order, I guess because it feels more manageable when split into different sections. Once I'm done I'll slot everything into the right order.
     
  6. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I plan to do that with my next story, because like you I have several POV-character and I thought about writing each and every pov separately, finish the story from one POV at the time and later put the scenes in the right order. I also did something like it with my current WIP, I had made a list of the scenes in the novel and in which 1/4th of the story they were to appear in, and then I wrote them without cronological order. I had so many ideas for scenes that I just listed each and every one and wrote them, because it felt like it would be easier to over-view ( :eek: is that a word? I can't come up with a better one, sorry, hope it makes sense) that way. Right now I have them all written and am putting them in cronological order, some of them I won't use, (like, a couple of them), but most of them got into the story and I'm writing the transition between the scenes so they will make sense. I find anything that helps you stay organized or get a better view of your work can't be wrong. :)
     
  7. Line
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    Line New Member

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    I often write our of order.

    I do always start with chapter one, but I might get inspired to write a chapter further in the story, then go back to what would be chapter two and then I might jump to the future chapter 5. It depends on what inspires me. I often have a outline of the story in my head and a timeline, but if I feel like writing chapter 7 now instead of chapter 3, that's what I'll do.

    But like someone else said, it means that you would have to read the story carefully through so that everything fits.
     
  8. Jowettc
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    Jowettc Contributing Member

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    I think that some of the above posters have misread the OP's post.

    I think, Protar, that what you were saying was that you would right the entire story from one POV and then return and write it from another POV and so on...am I correct?

    If so, then no, I see no problem - as long as it isnt a murder mystery of course! It reminds me of a movie I saw once - I just can't remmber the damn name of it....it was done very well. All the characters had different ideas of what happened during the story..some unexplained scenes in one POV were explained in antoher and so on. It all tied up togeher at the very end and it was a great talking point becaue different people identified with different characters and what they had learnt / experienced through the story.

    Just remember that you need to keep that element of 'desire' for the reader. If you give everything away in the first POV why read any more?
     
  9. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    It seems to me like you missed his second and third post. :)
    He was actually saying that he was going to rearrange them later to get them in the right order, not that the finished novel would be like that.
     
  10. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Unfortunately Jowettc is correct, you've misunderstood :p. My story will be taking place from seven POV's (not including prologue and epilogue.) so one chapter will take place from say Bob's POV, then the next would be Alice and then Charlie and so forth. So using that metaphor I'd write all of Bob's chapters, then all of Alice's and then all of Charlie's and then at the end slot them all together.
     
  11. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    I actually did exactly this, years ago. I think I had five POV characters, and I wrote everything out of order as well. I did it for similar reasons -- I wanted to get right to the exciting parts.

    What I ended up with was 90,000 words of chapters of all sizes that couldn't really be pieced together into a meaningful story. However, it was not at all a waste of time. It was great practice and a fine first draft.

    The second draft, I wrote straight through in chronological order without even looking at the first draft. It only had one POV character.

    I was really into "writing the exciting parts," too, getting right to them. But after I had all that practice, I knew how the exciting parts could come together to make a single story.

    You might find seven POV characters is a lot. You might make changes later, like I did. Either way, if you're inspired to write this way right now, then write.
     
  12. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    I have considered that it's quite a lot, but I intend for this to be a large epic fantasy series. There are multiple different narrative threads, with each POV character giving insight into a different part of the story. So a couple of POV's focus on this chase across the country, another couple in political intrigue in the main city. Then we've got insight into the workings of this religion and some of the villain's plans. And then we've got a character who's POV's are introduced a little later to give a short narrative that's pretty separate from the main plot but which I'm planning to tie in during the second book. So it's all necessary.

    I will have to be very careful with consistencies though, however I do have an idea of where everything is going to go. During my second draft I'll probably go through chronologically and clear up any inconsistencies.
     
  13. spelsh
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    spelsh Member

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    I'm a very impatient reader so I quite like books that are set 'out of order'. For me a change of scenery in every other chapter keeps it fresh and interesting. Although I'm not saying anything that isn't 'out of order' is dull, just depends on the book/author. But I also enjoy working 'out of order' and I feel that working on different parts of a story can help keep writers block at bay just as long as you maintain consistency.
     

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