Friday, February 3, 2012

Fitting the Pieces Together

First, we have a winner in my cover reveal and 200 follower giveaway. Congrats, Sheri Larsen! You won! Email me your mailing address and I'll get your three choices out to you.

Onto today's topic of fitting the pieces together. The more I write, the more I change the way I write. I've written novels from start to finish. I've written the ending before the rest of the story. I've even stopped halfway through to go back and add five chapters of subplot throughout. What I never thought I'd do is write whatever scene came to mind and piece them together later.

But now I do. If I get a certain scene in my head, I enter down on my manuscript and type away. Then I go back to where I was and pick up again. With my latest WIP, I had four different scenes written ahead of time, and I moved them around to where I needed them as I wrote. Was it a little crazy? Yes. But I think the scenes would have lost something if I didn't write them when they came to me. And to be honest, piecing the scenes together like a puzzle is kind of fun.

If you've never tried it, I challenge you to let yourself do it. I said I'd never do it, but here I am.

Can you write out of order?

54 comments:

  1. That's how I write. I'm trying to outline more.

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    1. LOL. I outline and plan a lot, but I still end up writing out of order and straying from my plan.

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  2. I'd feel a little uncertain about writing like this since I draft an outline first, but hey, who knows what might happen, huh?

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    1. I outline/plan first too, Claudine. That actually makes it easier to write out of order because you know what's coming.

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  3. I do this all the time or I write things down in a notebook and then I can go through at any time and find the scene that I wrote and find a place for it. Sometimes it is just small sequences of events too. It is a great idea to get it out while it is fresh.

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    1. Yes! It comes out so much better when the idea is fresh. I used to use notebooks like this too (and I still do if I'm not at my computer) but I found I'd have so many scenes written ahead of time and then I had to type them up still. Putting them in my manuscript (again, if I'm able to) is much easier.

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  4. I have about 5 chapters of a novel I started last year and never finished, but I'll finish it one day. The reason for the five chapters was all because of one short scene I really wanted to write. From that scene came all sorts of other scenes and ideas.

    Gosh! I wish I'd just finish something! :D

    Congrats for finishing in all differents kinds of ways, Kelly.

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    1. Diane, it sounds like you are determined to finish, so I have no doubt you will. Good luck!

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  5. I do the out of order thing with every book. I used to do it a lot more, but then tried to stay somewhat streamlined in writing from start to finish, but as you said when the scene comes to you in vivid color it is better to get it down now.

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    1. Completely agree. I kind of see myself doing this from now on.

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  6. I do this. In fact, I love to get the ending early on, because it tends to focus the entire story as I write.

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    1. I agree. The novel where I started with the final chapter was very easy to write because I had a clear ending point.

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  7. I tend to write from beginning to end, and then halfway or 3/4s stop to add what's missing, but I've never written the end first and doubt I ever will. Great post, Kelly. It's always fascinating to read how other authors write!

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    1. It is funny how we are all different. I like hearing how other writer's write, too.

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  8. I write out of order all the time. It helps me to "follow the muse" and write what feels best for that day. Stimulates creativity for me instead of feeling like I have to follow a linear track.

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  9. I write out of order most of the time. I keep a Word document with all my scenes and ideas in it. Then when I need one I just copy and paste from one document to the other.

    Michelle
    www.Michelle-Pickett.com

    Author of Concilium, available July 2012
    Concilium: The Departure, November 2012
    PODs, available June 2013

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    1. I've done that too, but if I'm writing an actual scene and not just ideas, I like it in the manuscript itself. I can just move it around later.

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  10. I've actually done that with one scene and have been considering continuing it with my WIP...now since you've dared me I might as well go for it :)

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  11. Congrats on 200 followers. Yes, I think that's kind of how I am doing it too.

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  12. I have had to write out of order with my WIP because I have subplots that follow certain characters, and it became easier to write the whole subplot and then break it up where it needed to go in the action instead of trying to write the action and keep the subplot straight.

    Follow that?

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    1. Wow, that sounds confusing, but if it worked for you, then that's great!

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  13. I don't seem to have a system. It's usually the other way around. The system has me! It depends on how the story come to me as to how I'll deal with getting it down.

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    1. Same here, Lee. That's why every book I write is written differently. You have to kind of go with the flow.

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  14. I don't have an unduly number of writing rules, but writing out of sequence alludes me. No problem in revision or polishing. But a first draft? I'm getting the story down just as a reader would.
    Good topic.

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    1. I can understand that. It's how I used to write all the time.

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  15. I did this once and it worked really well. The next time i did it, it didn't work at all.

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    1. Beth, I think every manuscript is different. You have to figure out what works for that specific one.

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  16. Hi Kelly! I really want to try this method, probably even more than fast drafting. Maybe for the next novel I'm planning. Thanks for bringing this topic up and reminding me : D

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    1. You're welcome, Katie. Good luck with it! :)

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  17. Interesting. I've heard of people doing this, but haven't done it yet myself. I will take your challenge though. I'm totally up for trying this. :)

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  18. Congrats to Sheri!

    I have never written by piecing everying together. I think it would be quite challenging for me- but I also think it sounds interesting. I am glad it worked for you- and I may decide to give a try!

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  19. Hi Kelly! I've not written out of order yet, although I do jot down specific notes for each scene. But I can see myself doing that at one point. I think one of the biggest keys for writers is evolving with each book.

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    1. Stacy, I agree. We have to evolve with each book and do what's right for that story.

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  20. It totally changed the way I work when I realized I didn't have to write in order. For someone who tends to pants it, that method works really well for me. Then it's like a game making it all fit together in the end!

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    1. It is like a game. It's fun. But I plan and I still write out of order. I think it can work no matter if you are pantser or a planner.

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  21. I ALWAYS write out of order. I may have my plan and outline, but I write the scene that wants to be written. As Holly Lisle says, "Write with joy." If you're not excited writing that chapter, your readers aren't going to be excited reading it.

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    1. I completely agree, Kat. I had no idea you did this though. :) It's so fun learning little things about my writer friends.

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  22. I've tried this a little bit. Next up for me is a novella and I plan on doing the same thing you just did. Write whatever scene strikes my fancy. I hope it works!

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  23. writing out of order is a horrible thought for me. but with every story I think I'm experiencing a new way of writing and plotting so i can give it a try.
    Congrats to the winner.

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    1. I think every story is different, like you've described. We have to be open to adapting to the story at hand.

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  24. wow, Kelly. I never thought to do it that way... I am in the process of a new idea, and the ideas are bouncing around like crazy. Maybe I'll just write out the scenes.

    Great post.

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    1. Definitely, do it. You'll thank yourself later. ;)

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  25. I've done this all along. If I don't, I forget some great stuff that came to me.

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  26. Love this post Kelly! Sometimes I write from beginning to end,but alot of times I write halfway through,then go back to add more.I like to write down whatever part comes to mind.

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  27. Kelly, Never having gotten all the way through a novel (not even half way through), I would be very anxious trying to write one out of order. Too daring for me on the first pass.

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    1. It's a to each his/her own kind of thing. Different things work for different people-or even different manuscripts, as I've found. :)

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