How important is the sequence in which you write your story? Do you have to write you story from beginning to end without straying from the path before you? Or can you stop and go as you see fit, writing in sporadic moments that all come together in the end? Is it okay to write the ending of the story before you even know what the opening line will be? Is it somehow bad for your writing or detrimental to the story if it is written without following the this-came-first-and-then-this-and-then-this-until- finally-this-happened pattern?
Most writers will tell you, no, you do not have to write a story from beginning to end; it isn’t a book yet. The way you are writing isn’t the same as the way it will be read. As long as the story is in order when it is finished, and everything makes sense, it doesn’t matter how you write your story. It doesn’t matter if you write your epic battle scene before you even begin to think about writing the conflict that causes it. The sequence of events, when telling your story, isn’t as strict of a rule book as others might think it should be.
For the most part, I have been strict when it comes to the order in which I tell a story. Normally, I write my story beginning, middle and end. I don’t usually vary from this method, regardless of what happens. While I may have an important conversation for later on in my story pop into my head, I never abandon what I’m working on to write on that part. Sure, I write it all down in one of my many journals, but I only write the part that is in my head. I don’t usually stray from what I’m working on at any given moment.
Recently, however, I have started thinking about this method. I’m wondering if maybe it will be easier to actually finish writing a book if I write it out of order. Then I don’t have to worry as much about what to do when I’m in one of the less exciting points of my stories. I like the idea that I can write my entire book out of order and then go back when I’m done writing to weave it all together. I like being able to write what I feel like writing, instead of having to stick with a strict order sequence that I tire of easily.
I have a few concerns about writing like this, though. My biggest problem is that I would write all of the biggest scenes or events, and then not know how to connect them all together. If I’m thinking logically, this shouldn’t bother me. It is my story after all, and whether the characters take over and demand to tell their story or not, I’m still the one controlling what goes on the actual piece of paper. However, I have a track record for giving up on my stories when things are hard to write or get boring. There is a great chance of this happening if I were to actually write a story where all of the less-than-exciting parts are what I’m left with at the end. Then I would be left with a mostly finished book but no motivation left to actually finish it.
I don’t think that moving to this method of writing would be beneficial for me in the long run. More likely than not, I would live a life full of mostly-finished books that I just couldn’t find the energy to actually write. However, I am a fan of this method. If you can make this method work for you, then I say go for it! Do what makes you happy when you write. No two writers are the same, no one has the same way to write as you.
For all of the other writers out there, how do you write? Do you have to write your stories in order? Do you prefer to skip around as you write and then string it all together at the end with the not so exciting parts in the story? I would love to hear all about your opinions on this, and any advice you may have for someone considering writing like this. Feel free to leave comments below! Don’t forget to check back for posts! Also, follow me on Twitter!