When it comes to writing fiction, do you write out of sync, by which I mean – do you write chronologically for longer projects such as novels? In the past, I’ve always written my stories in an orderly fashion – editing of course involves a lot of chopping and changing, but the writing process has always marched on in a linear fashion. I write in a straight timeline and if I get stuck, then I wait until inspiration comes before I continue.
However, when those times come (and they usually do at some point), and you wonder – what next? – is it perhaps better to hop on to a part of the story which you’re certain about, and leave the gap for later? It’s seems a simple enough way to write, but I’ve recently realised that I write how I read (from start to finish), and maybe it’s time to step out of that pattern. After all, there’s always the risk when you get stuck with a plot line, that you’ll give up on it, or get distracted from it and move onto other things, leaving your idea languishing for the sake of a missing piece of the puzzle.
It’s something that I’ve decided I’m going to try with longer stories. William Boyd (yes, there was a prompt for this thinking!), said in a recent interview that he does this. He doesn’t write chronologically and, given the format of his latest novel and others before it, which depict entire lifespans of characters, that’s pretty impressive. For there is, is there not, the risk of also tying yourself in knots when you write little pieces here and there, which must then be stitched together to form a story which flows forwards as it should…?
I may give it a try and see what happens. 🙂