…does it work?
Hello everyone, happy Sunday to you!
As I am nearing the end of my first draft (eeek, I think I am anyway!) I have been thinking a lot recently about the unusual way I approached my writing this time.
I have written novel length stories in the past and always forced myself to write exactly in order, one chapter after the other. I mean, that’s the logical approach, right? Yet this time, I haven’t stuck quite so closely to that rule. I don’t just mean I’ve been writing down ideas for later chapters as I go, because that’s advised anyway, whatever your process. I mean actively, fairly often, writing completely out of order to get the story told.
I’d like to share with you the main reasons why this has worked for me, and perhaps some of these are things you’ll try yourself.
1. Writing the chapter you’re excited about
When I get excited about future chapters, it’s a great feeling. I don’t think it’s uncommon for writers to make the most of these inspirations and dedicate some time to these chapters, even if they’re completely out of order within the story. I completely do this too. When you’re in a writing slump it can be a breath of fresh air to feel passionate about your story again and having moments like that are essential to keeping you motivated.
2. Writing different POVs separately
Last week on the blog I talked about writing with multiple perspectives and I’m still really intrigued as to how different writers approach this. When I started writing my current WIP I was writing chapter to chapter, flitting between perspectives in the order I wanted for the finished piece. But I soon found it hard to focus on the characters as individuals and keep their voices distinct. So I broke it up. I wrote the whole story, minus the last few chapters, from one character’s POV and have since gone back to write the other character’s perspectives from the beginning. For some reason this has worked for me so much better, even though my story is a muddled mess and I’ll need a lot of planning and re-organising time when it comes to the second draft.
3. Leaving open gaps
I’m sure, like me, you’ve been in a situation where you just can’t work out what comes next. What chapter, what sentence, what word? I’ve spent too long leaving my novel at a stand still because I simply couldn’t work out what to put next. Not anymore! Now, I just leave it and move on to the next chapter that I do know about. What I find is, as I move onto the next part of the story that I am certain about, the gaps fill themselves. The ideas flow because I’m still writing, rather than nursing my writer’s block for days. It means having to write out of order fairly often, but as long as all the gaps are filled eventually, who cares? That’s what editing’s for anyway!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you write strictly chapter to chapter or do you throw order out the window if you need to? Comment below and let me know!
Anyway, I have to go to work now…boo!
But have a great day