Friday, October 25, 2019

Out of Order (Holly Schindler)

A few years ago, I never would have thought I'd say this, but as far as plotting goes, I'm a big believer in writing non-chronologically.

Sounds counter-intuitive. Like it'd be a big mess.

I've found the exact opposite to be true.

Here's the thing: I'm not a fan of first drafts. And we all know that we write our best work when we're able to tap into the joy of writing.

So how do you maintain joy through a process you generally don't like, a process you want to push through so you can get to the fun stuff (revision)?

By writing out of order. At least, I do.

To be fair, this often works after you've planned out the book by writing some kind of outline. With the outline in hand, you can feel free to simply write scenes. Any scene, that comes at any point in the book. One after the other. Once the scenes are written, you can simply slide them into chronological order, connect them with a narrative thread, then jump into the fun of revising.

When writing out of order, I get to sit down each day to writing I'm excited about. What scene intrigues me the most? That's the scene I'm going to write. It allows me to tap into that feeling of fun, of play. It also keeps me from feeling like every sentence I put down needs to be good. I'm exploring; it's not supposed to be perfect.

The next time you feel like you're having a rough time with a draft, give it a shot: pick a scene you know you want to get to, and just write that. See if that little step doesn't help get you excited about your project all over again...

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