1. The Elder One

    The Elder One Member

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    Should I write the novel chronologically?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by The Elder One, Sep 15, 2016.

    I noticed I am having difficulty writing a scene in my novel, as I am generally a pantser and not an outliner, I just start and continue writing the story in chronological order.

    However, the primary plot is mostly defined by now and I have a pretty good idea how I want a scene that takes place later on to play out, so I thought maybe I should just write that instead of wasting time staring on the screen waiting for an idea to come up?

    Should I do that or will it throw me off track and put the story on rails?

    I need some tips on this.
     
  2. Brindy

    Brindy Senior Member

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    As the ultimate outliner/planner I tend to write mainly in order, BUT, as I know what's ahead, if I get an idea I want to flesh out I go with it. When I've done enough to leave it, I go back to the main part of the story.
     
  3. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    The only downside of skipping ahead is that when you go back and write your way up to the later scene, you may find it doesn't quite fit. That's because new ideas are always occurring to us as we write - nuances about our characters that alter their impact on the story line, and refinements of the events in the story that shape our characters.

    Then again, even if you write "chronologically", new ideas can occur to you in a later scene that require changes in an earlier one.
     
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  4. xanadu

    xanadu Contributor Contributor

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    I tend to avoid writing stories out of order purely for this reason. My POV characters grow as the story does--organically--and so if I skip ahead and then go back to an earlier part, the growth of that character will be warped. But that's just me. Everyone's different.

    If you are stuck at a part, there's certainly no harm in trying to skip ahead. See if that works for you--perhaps that's a key part of your process you haven't discovered yet :)
     
  5. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Contributor

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    I'm sort of a panster and planner. I have a few scenes in mind at the beginning and added as I write, but I don't have the whole story plotted out. I've figured out that, for me, when I get inspiration for how to write a "future" scene, I need to write it. Nearly always when I finally write up to that scene, I have to change it a bit to make it fit in with the rest of the story, and sometimes I have to delete or change it completely. Despite that, I have never regretted writing those scenes. They help me to get the ideas out, learn what works and what doesn't and why. When I let myself write whatever I want to write when I want to write it, I'm much more inspired and the scenes end up looking much better.

    Try it and see if it works for you.
     
  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I generally pants, but try to write in a rough order, otherwise you can wind up writing all the "good bits" then have the tedious job of linking them together
     
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  7. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

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    Getting to the various bits that I want to write is, I find, a great motivation for trudging through the less fun parts.

    Granted, nothing should really be boring to write, because that means itļl probably be boring to read.
     
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  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    It doesn't make any difference. Write it in the manner that best allows you to get the work completed. Any issues that arise can be addressed during editing.
     
  9. The Elder One

    The Elder One Member

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    I will be writing the scene then and fix it later if it needs editing.

    Thanks for the input.
     

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