An outline is essential when trying to design a well structured story without losing track of characters or plot points. However, is it necessary to write your story in order to come up with a quality result?
Tim O’Mara says that he avoids writing block by writing out of sequence, and from my experience it can actually be enlightening to write pieces of your story at different times. In fact, writing the ending before the beginning can allow you to know where you are going with your story, giving you a strong foundation, helping you write faster and more intelligently.
Here are a handful of ways about how writing out of sequence can help your writing process:
- Organization – Believe it or not, writing your story out of sequence allows you the luxury of knowing what is coming in the future. This allows you to see what is going to happen next and actually makes you more organized than structuring an outline from the beginning. The end of your story is often the most important part of your story and knowing what is going to happen at the end allows you the opportunity to see into the future and understand what motivations and scenes will occur before the resolution. This gives you the chance to understand the true meaning of your story and piece together everything before the end comes. It’s strange to think that jumping around will make you more organized, but it will.
- Flow – Organization is the key here, but once again, knowing what will happen in the future will help connect the dots more than outlining in order ever will. Throwing in scenes and characters while you write helps cut out plot holes that you forget about and cleans up the editing process drastically.
- Block writer’s block - Tim O’Mara says it best, but having the ability to write out of sequence gives you unlimited outlets to writing material. Write your ending, 5th, 12th or 20th chapter when it is on your mind and save time from sitting and staring at your computer. The next step is not always the next scene in your story.
- The adventure – Just like in life, ideas come unexpectedly. Why wait to include new, exciting information, when it beckons to be told? Your story brings so much adventure to your life, so why not embrace that adventure?
- The busy schedule – We all have busy schedules. I don’t have kids, but those with kids know the worst of it. School, work, friends, family and whatever activities you may partake in leave you no choice but to put your writing on hold sometimes. Why not cater to this livelihood and write your story as it comes to you.
- Life is sporadic – Life is a wonderful, sporadic event and your story should be too. A quality story has ups and downs and can only be true when the chaos of life is accurately represented. Take your story from your life and put together the pieces to reveal a strong meaningful message.
What do you think about writing out of order?
See ya next time…