Monday, May 03, 2010

Pretty Scenes, Lined Up in a Row

I read once that Diana Gabaldon, author of the famed Outlander series, never writes in a linear fashion. Various scenes come to her, she writes them, then later figures out how to connect them.

I've heard that other authors write the ending first so they know how everything has to end up.

And there are probably authors who start right in the middle and work outward toward each end. (Although this strikes me as a very confusing way to write!)

I have always been a linear writer -- starting at the beginning, and hacking my way through the word jungle til I reach the bitter end. But with this manuscript, I'm trying it differently and writing scenes out of order. It's not exactly Diana Gabaldon's method, but it's new to me and has given me fresh energy. We'll see if it works.

How about you? Do you write linearly or Gabaldonly?


Piedmont Writer said...

New follower here. Great blog!

I think for the most part I write in a linear fashion, but when I get stuck somewhere, I'll write a scene out of context just to keep the juices flowing.

LindaC said...

I'm a non-linear writer, too. It's a blessing and a curse. You never really know where you are chapter wise and as far as getting someone to read your work in progress-well, that's dicey, too. On the other hand, you can write around blocks.


Carla Swafford said...

I usually write linear. Yet if a scene bogs me down, I've been known to type three X's at that spot and skip to the next scene. Then along the way the solution will come to me on how to fix the bogged down scene and I go back to the X's.

Back about a few books ago, I wrote one all out of sequence and then I had to work hard to pull them together.

FYI - I don't know if JoAnn is back from Ireland yet. She scheduled this blog before she left. I thought I would mention this in case she doesn't answer.

Jeanie said...

While I have disconnected scenes and bits and bobs of dialogue floating around in my head while I'm working on a manuscript, I'm a linear writer. Wish I wasn't, because sometimes I get bogged down in a chapter for a while, and that's frustrating. I'm a real anal Annie, have to 'fix' whatever is bothering me before I can move on. It literally makes me anxious!

Callie James said...

I'm hopelessly linear.

Boring, I know.

What's that like to write out of sequence? You're enjoying it then?

Kat Jones said...

I'm more of a linear writer... although I will jot down a scene out of sequence so I won't lose it. When that happens, I usually already know where the scene will go, my writing simply hasn't caught up with my mental process and I have to fill in the hole.

Christine said...

Linear for first draft, but I'm all over the place for revisions. I don't necessarily start at the "beginning" to make changes. I start with the global changes and then finesse linearly. Sometimes I'll get a brainstorm moment out of sequence and I'll note it or move to that section to fill in the idea.

Scrivener helps me be linear and non linear.

Great cause I believe I write in true hybrid style :-)

Gwen Hernandez said...

I'm mostly a linear writer, but I will think of future scenes and write them as they come to me. This is just one reason why using Scrivener is so helpful for me.

Then, like Christine, I'm all over the place in revisions.