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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I always find it so interesting to learn about other author's writing processes :)

I prefer to write scenes as they come to me. If I have something on my mind I want to get it down on paper. A lot of times this means I end up writing the pivotal/funny/favorite scenes first, then kind of go back in and fill in the rest.

When writing my last novel, I found it kind of annoying to have to go back and make sure all the back story was filled in and the characters felt developed, so I decided to try to write this book chronologically. But I am getting so stuck! I want to write what I feel inspired to write, and not just what comes "next."

So I'm curious- how do you write?
 

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I always write in order, though I don't have a problem with adding the prologue in after the book reaches the final chapter.

I don't need inspiration to write. Writing is half mechanical and half creative. So long as I do my planning when I'm inspired, I never have a problem with it.

I know that some authors (like Stephenie Meyer) don't write chapters in order. Some like to write the scenes and chapters that they most want to write at first.

Writing the chapters in order, however, allows me to reward myself. I write a chapter that I didn't really want to write in order to reach a chapter that I really want to write.
 

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I write in order and use flashbacks if I need to give background information.  If I write out of order, I have the tendency to forget to use the scenes/chapters. Best to keep it in order for the sake of my readers or else I would never be able to keep up with what my characters are doing.
 

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It depends on the story for me. Some stories I've done in order and others I have not. I've tried in the past to constrain myself to writing in order when I didn't feel like doing it, and it didn't work out for me either. Just go with your gut. If you want to get a different part of the story done, go for it.
 

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I'm like you, Rachel. I like my scenes. Most of the time they go chronologically, but if I get stuck someplace, I skip it, move on to where I know I want to be, then come back later and fix it. When I was using Word to write, it was horrible because I didn't feel like I could skip. There just wasn't an easy way to do it. I'd get stuck in one spot and languish there until eventually the story sputtered to a complete halt. But now I use yWriter and it lets me add scenes and see them in order. If I find one isn't working in the place I put it, I can move it. Doesn't happen as much with my novellas, obviously, but with my longer books, it's a godsend.
 

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I just write as it comes to me because a lot of times what started as the beginning turns out to be the 2nd or 3d chapter anyway. Too many times I've decided after a ton of info dump it's better to just go back and show what happened and start the story further back.  :-\
 

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Before, I used to write scenes. I think because I didn't have a clear and set path, I had difficulty writing out the story in order. Obviously, this is not the case for everyone, but it definitely was for me. Also, some scenes didn't intrigue me as well as others, or some weren't what I was in the mood to write. But what ended up happening was I would keep putting off the scenes that I didn't want to write, and they never got done. I had to come to realize that if I don't want to write a scene or don't find it very interesting, a reader isn't going to either.

Not only that, but for me, it got kind of hard to write the characters well when I jumped around because characters grow and change through time. And sometimes, you inadvertently end up writing about a character, but since so much has happened in between and those experiences may have changed said character, the voices are disjointed. Or the voice seems now out-of-character. And when I write scenes and I don't go in order, I tend to have to rewrite scenes or throw out large chunks of scenes because something has changed or things didn't go as planned in my manuscript.

So I write in order now. And it's great! I think writing in order helps me see the progression, and keeps the story fresher in my mind. When I jump around, my thoughts get disjointed, and I can't see things like issues with character growth, whether or not questions were adequately answered, etc. If I REALLY have thoughts on a scene or how something will go, then I jot it down. I'll write out lines that I feel like need to be said in a later scene, make notes about the way someone is behaving (things like stance, eye contact, how something is said), etc. If I REALLY feel passionate about it, I'll write the full scene out. But those cases are few and far in between.

Different strokes for different folks though! What works for me won't necessarily work for another.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PMartelly said:
I had to come to realize that if I don't want to write a scene or don't find it very interesting, a reader isn't going to either.
I think this is partially why I skip scenes. I know if its boring for me to write its going to be boring for someone to read, in which case I need some time away from it to figure out a better way to tell that part. I would rather move onto to something more inspiring and hope I later end up inspired about the bit I skipped.

I agree that you have to do whatever feels right. I am going to keep trying this one in order just to see how it goes- but I'll change it up if need be. I did just get through a scene that I was feeling blocked about, so maybe it can be done:)
 

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Victorine said:
I write in order. Although right now I'm sticking a scene in somewhere in the middle because I felt like they got from point A to point B too quickly. But usually I write from beginning to end. :D

Vicki
More or less what I do - write in order then fill in where needed, which is the hardest part. Ensuring a logical progression of events and actions, being able to point to something that answers "but why did X do Y?" can be tough.
 

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I write by POV, and then chronologically. So I'll write all the scenes for one POV in order before I move on to the next one. I've written straight chronologically, jumping from POV to POV, but I find that harder to do because I tend to conceive of the storylines in character terms, and so it's easier for me to write them that way.
 

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I usually write it all in order. I do sometimes skip scenes. I'll just write the plot for a scene down on the page and come back to it when I feel more inspired to write that part.
 

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I am like Ryne, in that I write in order, but I need to plan while inspired.  It's interesting to hear how everyone does it!
 

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Rachel Schurig said:
I think this is partially why I skip scenes. I know if its boring for me to write its going to be boring for someone to read, in which case I need some time away from it to figure out a better way to tell that part. I would rather move onto to something more inspiring and hope I later end up inspired about the bit I skipped.

I agree that you have to do whatever feels right. I am going to keep trying this one in order just to see how it goes- but I'll change it up if need be. I did just get through a scene that I was feeling blocked about, so maybe it can be done:)
You definitely have a good point! I think it's just a matter of learning what works best for you. And I definitely understand why writing scenes as opposed to chronological order has it's benefits, because it did work a while for me. =]
 

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Rachel Schurig said:
I prefer to write scenes as they come to me. If I have something on my mind I want to get it down on paper. A lot of times this means I end up writing the pivotal/funny/favorite scenes first, then kind of go back in and fill in the rest.
That's exactly how I wrote my current book. It's a memoir, so you'd think it would be easy to just write it down. It wasn't, though. It wasn't easy at all. I struggled for twenty years trying to write it chronologically. It kept coming out boring. Then one day it struck me.

People liked my stories. That's the reason I kept struggling to write a book. People loved my stories!

I finally started writing the self-contained stories. Then I just filled in the blanks between them. I had an entire folder of stories. I'd just write a bit then cut and paste a story in when it seemed to fit. Once I figured that out, it was easy.

I'm sure anything else I write will be done the same way.
 
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