Thursday, 8 February 2018

Writing Sequentially... Until the Gaps

I'm pleased to say my characters have returned and I'm ready to resume rewriting the current work in progress.

In previous years I've had scene ideas but they've never been more than a few glimpses of action and dialogue, so I've noted them down for later use, then added them when I get to that stage.

Now I write sequentially (and have done for some years) so it's a bit disconcerting to have a scene I feel I need to write out, even though I'm not quite sure where it goes- yet.

Originally it started out as a passing thought late last year. It would give my (1802) hero and heroine an opportunity to meet socially, and that was where the idea stopped.

X months later with the return of my characters after a long break, numerous possibilities of how it can help and advance the story have occurred.

So unusually, I'm going with the write the scene down and save it for later method.

Writing sequentially has always allowed me to keep the story moving in a natural progression. Also my characters develop as the story goes along, so by the end they have changed in some way.

Perhaps it's just that I'm working out the gaps in this second draft, that were missing in the first.

Filling in those gaps in the story...

There were a couple of points where I knew I needed a scene, but didn't know what the exact content was- as in the new idea. Another early scene I know who's in it and where it takes place, but not the tone of the conversation...

I don't think I'll ever be able to write a story using out of order sections and then fit them together. My mind doesn't seem to work that way.

But I do know that I'm learning how I write a longer story; then hopefully the next one will be swifter to complete.

Are you an in sequence or out of order writer?


Rosemary Gemmell said...

Glad you're getting back to your novel, Carol. That's a good question! I'm usually very sequential and like to write from beginning to end. However, for some reason, I wrote a scene out of sequence for my latest children's book and it's taken me a long time to get that book finished for which I blame writing out of sequence! Never again.

Patsy said...

I write mostly in sequence ... that's the theory anyway. Sometimes I leave a scene and come back to it, or write one before I've really got to that point and quite often I change the oder of events during the editing process anyway.

Wendy's Writing said...

I’m glad your characters have returned, Carol.

Angela Barton said...

Hi Carol.
I tend to write sequentially but it's not unusual for me to write a future chapter if I get inspiration. I've done that with the chapter I'm writing now. I imagined my protagonist hiding from the Nazis under the floorboards of her friend's parlour. Throughout the daytime she can see strips of daylight filtering through the cracks in the floorboards but she has no idea of the time during the night - until 2 am when her friend is a lookout while washes, gets some exercise and eats. I now have to back fill how she was discovered helping Jewish families escape from the Vel d'Hiv and how she escaped.
But as long as I'm writing, I'm happy.
Good luck with your writing and getting re-aquainted with your characters.
Angela x

Carolb said...

Rosemary - that's interesting, I do think we find the system that works for us personally and if we do something differently our brain gets confused.x

Patsy - yes, editing seems to make writing-or adding things in during the rewriting/editing stages, less trying.

Wendy- so am I, they've clearly been deciding what new challenges to create for me.

Angela- that sounds like it will be an interesting story, and I'll look forward to hearing more when it's published.x