Connecting the Dots

I’ve decided to write my novel in a completely different way than I have ever done it before. Instead of plotting out the entire story, and making an outline of each and every scene, I have made a list of scenes that doesn’t include every single scene in the story. It’s more or less a random assortment of ideas that are in a vague order. What I’m going to do is write each scene, then when all the scenes are written, go back and rearrange the scenes and write transition paragraphs… or do whatever is necessary to help the story’s scenes flow together. In other words, I’m going to play “connect the dots” with my story.

It’s always fun to experiment with writing, and it breaks you out of the monotony of only writing a novel one way. I’ve played with the idea of writing the last scene first and going in reverse order, until I write the beginning scene last. Last year for Script Frenzy, I wrote a screenplay just to see if I’d like it as much as I like writing novels. I didn’t – and I can honestly say I will never write a screenplay again, but it was a neat experiment to try.

So if you’re feeling a bit of writer’s block, try something new. Do an experiment. If you normally write in first person, write in third. If you normally write in the POV of a female character, try writing from the POV of a male. The possibilities are endless, and you never know when you might find a way of writing that you never thought you’d like.

6 thoughts on “Connecting the Dots

  1. Your “connect the dots” idea sounds really interesting.

    And I agree about trying something new. I think it’s all the more important because we’re always inundated by all this authoritative-sounding advice on the right way to write. I saw a blog post recently about serial fiction (by somebody who had never actually written any), saying that of course if you’re writing serial fiction you need to start with an outline. I posted a comment saying that I’ve been doing it for 22 years and have never had an outline. But if somebody read that post and thought it was right, they might get stuck with trying a method that didn’t work for them. Shaking things up can get us out of those “rules” of how things have to be done.

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  2. This sounds tricky.
    I like the idea of working out all of the scenes, and the potential of moving them around. It’s the index card method (if you need a name for it).
    For me, though, I tend to write from a to z in a single pass. It is what makes it so hard for me to re-write or add scenes, because finding a place to insert into an established flow is difficult.
    Good luck with this!

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  3. I strongly approve of mixing it up every now and then just to keep things fresh. I actually write many of my pieces using a very general outline and then writing the scenes that are most vivid to me first, then the connecting scenes second.

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