Novel Hopscotch

I’ve always been the kind of writer who starts at the beginning of a novel and works her way through to the end. In order. This has been the only way for me to write a novel because most of the time I’ve had no idea what happens next. Diving in without an outline usually means you have to put one foot in front of the other to see what happens.

However, Saving Tomorrow is a different beast (in many ways!). I’ve finally pulled all my bits and pieces together (with a little over 3,000 words so far) and have the beginning of the novel outlined. I’ve jumped around quite a bit, playing with different scenes, different characters, and the different ideas that have been hopping through my head.

I’d heard of those people that write scenes out of order. Always thought they were a little crazy, but now I’M one of those people. Me. I never would have predicted this. Never. And yet here I am, with one file, some outline notes and scenes missing or incomplete.

It’s an interesting feeling, knowing that I can throw my stone on a scene that isn’t working for me and just jump right over it for the moment. Sure, I will have to come back and write it later, but maybe I’ll have a better idea of what goes in it if I’ve filled in the scenes around it.

An interesting concept. I’ll let you know if this is the way it works out.

Right now I am filling in the scenes I missed. Adding the last of the characters I need to, working on firming up the beginning of the novel. I’ve made no notes about the middle or the end, though I know the who, where, what and why of the questions at the core of the novel. I know where it ends, I just have to figure out how to get Delaney there in one piece.

In order to try and do this right I am going to flick through Bell’s Plot and Structure again to refresh my memory on what makes a solid novel. I would love if I didn’t have to rewrite this one from scratch 😉

How do you write a novel? Beginning to end, or jumping around like a kid playing hopscotch?


2 thoughts on “Novel Hopscotch”

  1. Congratulations on pulling the bits and pieces together and I hope the words continue to flow for you.

    I have no doubt I’m “a little crazy”, but I don’t know how else to write. I both compile scenes and write straight through. In the months before I actually start to write, I get many scenes in my head, mostly dialogue, so I write those down when they come to me. Then I put them in the order I think they’ll work, which I guess is my “outline”. But after I get what I think will be my opening scene, I can start the real writing. I start there and keep writing, incorporating my pre-written scenes where they fit.

    1. I think that’s kind of what I’m doing right now! Being a little crazy is a good thing 🙂 Just for the record.

      It’s always amusing to me that as writers we often think someone elses practices are odd, and then find ourselves trying them out, exploring new ways of doing something, or, like me, inadvertently writing in that way we thought crazy before we tried it ourselves 😉 Never say never!

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