Which way to do you write?

Yesterday I had one of ‘those’ days. My head was full of ideas and my family was not being cooperative in letting me get a moment to write them down. Usually when this happens I’ll grind my teeth and sigh and just continue with my domestic life. However yesterday my brain just WOULDN’T STOP.

What did I do? I fired up the computer, brought up a new page and left it up. When a moment appeared I’d run, sit, type furiously, save and then back to dealing with housework and kids. I didn’t open up my WIP (work in progress). There was no point, as I certainly couldn’t sit and think and allow words to flow.

Sometimes you have to take what you can get. So you’re wondering what did I create? By the end of the day I got about 3000 words. Not all connected, but disjointed partial scenes and dialogues. Pretty much it is a mess.

So you’re wondering why I bothered? I am (luckily for me) able to write in circles, or backwards, or anywhere in between. When a story forms in my mind it replays over and over and over… slowly growing. Due to this I can write chapter 5 before chapter 2. I actually do this quite often, as I’m a very emotional person, and this shows in my writing. I can’t write a sad scene if I’m not feeling sad. Or I should say, I can write it, but if I’m feeling down the writing is BETTER. So sometimes the words and feeling for a scene will come to me before I’ve gotten to that part, and I’ll write it down. I’ll get to that point eventually, and will then incorporate, adding or changing things if necessary so that the story flows.

Does anyone else write like this? Or do you plan out your stories in advance and write from point A to point B? Or perhaps you don’t plan at all.. but just let the story write itself? Would love to hear how you do it, or any little tricks you’d like to share!

~Happy writing!~


About jlwylie

Stay at home mom of 2 boys, avid reader and writer. Published by Untold Press

14 thoughts on “Which way to do you write?

  1. shaydenfl says:

    You’re lucky. Writing out of order would seriously be a detriment to my work. Mostly because I write the story as I go. I am lucky in one regard. I can write half a sentence, get pulled away from writing for a few days, and then go back and finish that sentence remembering exactly where I was going with it.

  2. jlwylie says:

    Wow, I wish I could do that.. I’d be sitting there scratching my head and wondering what had I been thinking at the time?!
    I suppose this goes to prove everyone is wired differently, and writes differently. But whatever works eh? šŸ™‚

  3. authorguy says:

    Couldn’t possibly. I need to have the words I wrote before as a jumping off point for the words I’m going to write next.

    Marc Vun Kannon

  4. Kirie says:

    I do this too, except that I sribble it all down in a notebook to begin with! It must be our erratic lives! šŸ™‚

  5. Noelle Pierce says:

    I sort of plan things out, meaning I have the main scenes–beginning, black moment, climax, ending–but how I get to each of those is entirely up to my characters. I tried once to write a scene out of order, but without knowing how the characters got there, it was a disaster. I couldn’t even start the sequel until I’d written the set-up scene in the first book to know how it went down. And from that scene in the first book, the major premise of the second one came to light.

  6. jlwylie says:

    It is so great to see how different everyone is!

    I suppose I do some planning too, it’s just all in my head. On occasion it changes, or something my characters take me somewhere else too. šŸ™‚

  7. Darcia Helle says:

    I can’t write out of order because I usually have only a vague – if any – idea where the story is going next. I start with a single character that pops into my head with something to say. Sometimes it’s a scene that flashes like a 20 second movie clip. Then I jump in and tag along for the ride.

    I used to think I was doing it wrong, because everything I read said a writer needs an outline. Goes to show those “how-to” books and articles are often useless!

  8. oprahby2011 says:

    I try to plan things out, but once I get writing, it sort of takes a life of its own, and I go with the flow. I have days like Sunday where I can sit down and write 5,000 words that are connected and I feel good about. Other days (like yesterday) almost nothing came out, and I ended up just surfing the web and doing research (I’m working on historical fiction) because I felt like writing anything down was going to be a waste.

  9. Claire King says:

    I write just like that! Since I know where I’m coming from and going to I just write whichever bit seems to be going well in the time available.
    After all, during edits it’s all going to get chopped about and smoothed over and sense made of it all…

  10. jlwylie says:

    I find it often works for me, unless suddenly the story takes a twisted turn and then occasionally things I’ve already written ahead in the timeline are mucked up. However, I can often use at least some of it, so its all good!

  11. Cathleen Miller says:

    I think it’s a necessary adaptation if your going to do 12 things at once. I always approach it like a jigsaw puzzle. Writing what is emotional available at the moment and figure out where the pieces go later.

  12. I write just like you although I’m more inclined to bark at my normal routine until it gives me an hour than run into the room and type a few sentences at a time.

    If I’m writing a blog post, that’s definitely something I do, but if I’m writing a novel, I always, always know where it’s going. I write it in order until I get stuck and then skip ahead to a scene I’m looking forward to writing. Then later I just go back and connect the gap.

    Something I do which makes me look a little crazy is I take those large desk calendars and I turn them over and use the backs of each sheet so it’s just a really large, blank space. Then I diagram the story in boxes and then sometimes outline parallel character arcs. By the time I’m done, it looks like I should be scrawling it on the walls of my suite at the loony bin.

  13. jlwylie says:

    I use old calendars sometimes, but a different way… I make notes in the date boxes when things happen in the story… so I can keep track of the actual timeline and when it is season-wise etc.

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