Reader Question: Writing order

When you write, do you write out of order or chapter by chapter as the story unfolds?

I always write in narrative order (so, the order I want things come up in the story, which isn’t necessarily chronological order due to flashbacks and the like). I know some authors find it easier to keep their enthusiasm going if they can jump around and write the scenes they’re most excited about at any given moment, but I find it very hard to keep my momentum going and feel the way the story is building toward the conclusion unless I’m following it straight through. It also makes it a lot easier to remember what any given character is supposed to know in any given scene, and what’s happened recently that should be affecting them!

I do, of course, jot plenty of notes about future scenes as I write along and new ideas occur to me, and occasionally write out a little dialogue just so I don’t lose it.


Reader Question: Writing order — 1 Comment

  1. I’m here from a tweet by RJ Anderson – hope you don’t mind. I’m also a beginner, and one of the surprises for me as I wrote my first novel was that it did NOT come in linear fashion. Instead, after starting at what struck me as the beginning, I ended up jumping all over the place. I could manage to keep going steadily if I wrote what I knew, and the bits of the story I knew best were towards the beginning and the end. The middle got filled in later.

    That’s why I love the writing program Scrivener so much. It allowed me to jump around in the story in a way that was comfortable for me.

    It was surprising, though! I’ve always been very linear in shorter forms.

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