Writing outside the Box


So it sounds odd to say "writing outside the box", I realize, but sometimes that is precisely what we need to do when writing. It's been ten days since the month began; how many words have you written? I have been writing around 2500 words a day between two novels, so my count isn't as high as I would like it. Part of the reason is because the two novels while not related, bring difficulties in writing.

Most of the time when we consider writing a novel, we think of it as a straight line, kind of like the warp in the above photo. You write one chapter then the next and repeat until the end. Unfortunately, that sometimes breeds frustration, especially if a chapter isn't quite working. If a line tangles in my warp, then winding it up onto the loom becomes more of a hassle than it should be. Trust me when I say that I have considered throwing out an entire warp because of that very knotted reason.

With a warp, I need to untangle the mess, but in novel writing, I don't have to untangle the mess before I can proceed. Currently, this is precisely how I am attacking one of my novels. I know the general outline of my book which follows the story of a young woman as she deals with forgiving herself, her past, and those who murdered her father, but the story doesn't always come that easily to me in writing.

I have opted to write chapters out of order. Part of my reasoning is inspiration: I know the scenes that I have a better idea about so I'll write those first. The connecting scenes, which I don't have a better grasp upon, I'll write later when the basic outline is completed. This pattern of writing can breed troubles in that I have introduced the same character twice already, in a space of about five years difference. It is easy to remedy the problem by editing the later chapter.

Has it been easier for you to tackle a chapter or day so far, or do you find yourself still stuck? Try writing out of order to see if it helps.

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