Breaking Chronology: Writing Scenes

breaking chronologyI’M WRITING A book. As you know from your frequent and feverish revisits to this very blog, somehow masking your presence by cleverly avoiding the WordPress stats monitor. Well that’s a lie, I’m typing it. It’s been called ‘Dog Story’ ever since the first draft began to take form. Well, on the journey to completion (about 75% there) I wrote it in an entirely linear fashion, chronological and always one scene following the next. There is one flashback. There are no crazy jumps in time. It seems very basic in its structure and so far it is.

Then something happened that all authors encounter – boredom – with the plot, characters, setting. You name it. Well one thing I’ve learnt, which isn’t earth shattering news, is that changing the approach can really liven your writing up by attacking the same problem from another angle.

For the first time I wrote a scene that I wasn’t quite sure where it fit in, however, it needed to be written and will find a home somewhere. I tasted freedom, to write and create not needing to worry where it all fit together. Doing that one thing is spurring me on to complete the book. It’s almost due to fear that I had not broken from my own convention. I worried I’d literally lose the plot, that I’d go off on a tangent that had no relevance to building the story. As usual the old idiom that any writing is better than none at all stands true. Don’t be afraid to be be afraid.

What fears has your writing very kindly given you?

7 Comments

  1. Congrats on your “break.” I like to think of writing as quilting. I have a plot, I write the “Homeless” scenes as they come while I continue on down the path of the main plot. Whenever the right moment seems to have arisen, I go to my “homeless scene” document and stitch it in its proper place. (I don’t call the document “homeless” but you get the point 😉 )

      1. My pleasure! I become a better writer by learning from other writers. There is also that feeling of solidarity, realizing that one’s way of thinking and creating is shared by others. We writers and artist have our own culture 😉

  2. My fear . . . I go back and have to butcher large sections because I realize that the story stopped moving – that I would have stopped reading at that spot for the night. I want to write in such a way that it drags people kicking and screaming into the wee hours of the morning to see what happens next. That’s not really a fear, I guess. It’s a reality that I have to go back and work on 🙂 Peace . . .

  3. I did a similar thing with what I’m working on at the moment. I normally write everything in chronological order as well but with this, I wrote a scene that will not occur until about mid-way through the plot because after the concept for the story, the title was one of the first things that came to me and this particular scene is the one that establishes the meaning of said title. It was the first thing I wrote for this project and I still haven’t even reached the point where it fits in but getting to that point is motivating me to keep going! Great post by the way 🙂

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