Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Writing Out Of Order (1 Viewer)

Status
Not open for further replies.

Riptide

WF Veterans
How do you do it? I would worry about when to reveal things, if you're too early, too late, or you say something that isn't actually a thing until later in the story because you had jsut finished writing that later scene seconds before starting a scene way earlier in the story. I've only known one person who actually wrote out of order, but it read a bit like her writing was a little out of order too.

i only ask because I'm trying to fit scenes into an already finished story and need to find the right time/place to put it. how to weave it in as if it was always a part of the story and not simply dropped in last minute. i don't want to screw up myy pacing either
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I have no idea how some authors can do that.

one of the books I wrote back in the 80’s was constructed such that the scenes were out of order, but wove a pattern that told a different story than was apparent.
 

Tiamat

Patron
I've only done it once, because there was a scene I was really excited to write. It was the scene that inspired the whole idea actually, so what the hell, right? It made for more work in the end though, having to rewrite bits to fit the other stuff that happened both before and after. I'm kind of a 50/50 planner/pantser though, which probably makes a difference for stuff like this. Like, I'll have the overall arc and main characters planned out to some degree, but I like to improvise the details, so I feel like some diehard planners could do the thing right, no sweat.
 

Ajoy

Senior Member
I definitely have to work chronologically, but I have added pre-written scenes in. When I've done that, I've reworked the scene a bit after pasting it in to make sure it works in its new place. Also, now that I'm on my 3rd draft revision, I'm really on the lookout for out of place lines or details within those scenes. So, I guess I tighten it all up over a couple of revision passes.
 

Cephus

Senior Member
I virtually never do that. There's no way to get the pacing and story elements right doing it that way.That seems more like a pantser thing to do.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
I don't think it should be very difficult if you need to do it. That's the beauty of writing. Your options are limitless right to the end. It's not like knitting a sweater that you need to go back and add some extra buttonholes to. Or a carving that you decided you wanted to add back material that had already been whittled away. Or a cake that you baked and forgot to put the baking powder in. (speaking from experience) :)

I had a hole in my story, where I realized her job didn't sound realistic because a big part of what she did during the day was missing. So I went back and identified every area that the assertion could sound natural. I found them by doing a search on various words I would have used to describe her job. I worked out a few different options, picked the one I liked best, and then added details wherever relevant. For example, a bit of dialogue had to get fixed, later when someone should have already known something about her job that was discussed during the assertions.

The key, as you say, is to weave it in naturally not just plunk it in. So if for example, it is an event, then make sure that a previous chapter or two mentions the event. "Are you going to the Charity ball this next weekend?" And then make sure that whatever transpired from the event is continued throughout, so if someone had learned something or had something happen to them at the event you reference it. "Gabby still wondered about the conversation she heard in the bathroom at the charity event. She knew something was up with Tom." A simple example, I know, but it's hard to be specific when I don't know your story.

I wouldn't worry about pacing. If the scenes are needed then you place them where the information is required for the reader to make sense of the story. The pacing should fall into place naturally.
 
Last edited:

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
[...]
I had a hole in my story, where I realized her job didn't sound realistic because a big part of what she did during the day was missing. So I went back and identified every area that the assertion could sound natural. I found them by doing a search on various words I would have used to describe her job. I worked out a few different options, picked the one I liked best, and then added details wherever relevant. For example, a bit of dialogue had to get fixed, later when someone should have already known something about her job that was discussed during the assertions.

The key, as you say, is to weave it in naturally not just plunk it in. So if for example, it is an event, then make sure that a previous chapter or two mentions the event. "Are you going to the Charity ball this next weekend?" And then make sure that whatever transpired from the event is continued throughout, so if someone had learned something or had something happen to them at the event you reference it. "Gabby still wondered about the conversation she heard in the bathroom at the charity event. She knew something was up with Tom." A simple example, I know, but it's hard to be specific when I don't know your story.

I wouldn't worry about pacing. If the scenes are needed then you place them where the information is required for the reader to make sense of the story. The pacing should fall into place naturally.
Watch out for core dumps too. Descriptions, job duties, relationships, living conditions, pets, are best allowed to trickle into the story. That's one of the problems I've seen with preludes; in some fantasy stories I've read, the whole thing was a core dump of the magical world, and insufferably dull.

Weaving = good. Sprinkle bits of information here and there, being careful to not have it inserted just before it become relevant.
 

Sir-KP

Senior Member
1. Back up your document, read the part where you are going to slip the new bits in
2. Write the new part there, give a few extra spacing to make it easier to find in case you're lost
3. Now there's obvious seam between the original work and the new patched-in paragraph(s)
4. Try to make some sense between the cuts to blur the seam and blend the new parts in. Rewrite if necessary
5. Ripple effect is inevitable. So read the entire chapter again and one or two before/after that. You know what kind of information you put in the new paragraph, so watch out for potential double with the one that you previously written in later or prior paragraph/chapter.

Of course this isn't fool-proof and the quality is determined by the writer themselves. But this is what I do when it happens.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top