Guess what I did yesterday…

I did something wildly adventurous yesterday. Can you guess what it was?

Cally bungee jumping

No, not bungee jumping.


Cally skydiving

Not sky diving either.


Cally with shark

Wrong again. No swimming with sharks for me.


Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that adventurous, but it was definitely unusual for me. So what did I do?

I… wrote a chapter out of sequence. *GASP!*

Totally wild, I know.  

As you may have realised from my weekly updates, I usually write in a linear fashion. I start at ‘Once upon a time’ and write in order all the way through to ‘The End’ (or equivalent).

But last night, after I completed chapter 92, I skipped 93 and went straight on to 94. Why did I make this monumental change to my approach, you ask? Because chapters 92 and 94 are both told from Seb’s perspective (my lead male character) and together they form one long scene, with a break (a scene from somebody else’s perspective) in the middle. So, in this instance, it just felt… right.

But that made me curious about how others approach their writing. So, please tell me: do you write linearly like I do? Or do you take more of a ‘greatest hits’ approach, jumping from highlight to highlight and return later to fill in the blanks?

I’m off to write chapter 93 now – poor little chapter has been feeling left out all day. But, who know? Maybe one day I’ll really be adventurous and give the ‘greatest hits’ approach a try. Or maybe not. Makes me nervous just thinking about it…



Filed under Tangled, Writing, Writing style

30 responses to “Guess what I did yesterday…

  1. Totally love the pics 🙂
    I am a very linear writer, but I have been trying to break out of that. Sometimes it’s OK to skip a bit in the interest of keeping up momentum. I’m trying to convince myself that I can always go back. And sometimes, moving forward helps unstick me from the spot I had to skip.

  2. Love the pictures!
    I generally write linear, but I also write random scenes when they are screaming at me inside my head. For instance, I have one scene written for midway book 3 and the last scene of the series for book 4–but I haven’t finished book 2 yet! These particular scenes are THE scenes if you know what I mean. The life changing moments upon which all else hinges. When they came to me I had to write them so I wouldn’t lose them.

    • Glad you liked the pictures, Charity. I had fun with them 🙂

      And thanks for sharing your writing approach. I think you have a point – I’ve often had ideas for pivotal scenes early on in the process, but then when I’ve come to writing them, my notes haven’t been sufficient. Maybe next time I’ll just bite the bullet and write the scene while the thoughts are there!

  3. Oh, my goodness, those pictures made me giggle. SO awesome.

    I write linearly a lot, but I also write out of sequence. There are plenty of times when I have a future scene SO clearly in my head, and the characters are screaming at me to write it, so I do. Then I go back and continue my linear writing. Some of these scenes stay pretty much exactly the same when I eventually reach them in the timeline. Some of the change a lot. Some of them become completely irrelevant and never end up in the story after all. But it’s never pointless for me, because oftentimes, writing future scenes helps give me ideas as to what to do in the present timeline. It helps me see what the characters might be like later in the story–sometimes only a chapter or two ahead, but sometimes half a book ahead. Sometimes, it helps me establish “this is my character now at point A, this is where I need to get them by point E.”

    Sometimes I write scenes that I know will never end up in the book, but they’re part of the back story or told from the POV of a character about whom I need to know more.

    And then it’s always fun to read scenes later that never ended up in there and see “what might have been.” 😉

    • Hehehe, glad the pictures made you giggle, Laura. That’s what I was aiming for!

      Thanks for sharing your writing approach. I really like your idea about using a future scene to understand what needs to change in your characters to get them there, and also about writing backstory that will never make it in to the book purely to help you flesh out your characters. 🙂

      I think you might be changing my mind about the greatest hits approach, after all!

  4. Vicki Tremper

    I write everything in order, too. But it makes sense to write the chapters from a certain POV in order, so you can make sure those flow. Good for you! Sometimes we have to step outside our comfort zone, not that I’m very comfortable with that – LOL!

  5. alberta ross

    I dont think I have ever written in order – I write scenes from where ever they come into my head and then I print them out – cut and paste in reality -into an order I like and then write connections to the scenes at the end. WIP at moment still doesn’t have a clear beginning but the middle and end nearly finished.

    • Wow, it sounds like your writing approach is the complete opposite of mine, Alberta! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      I think I should try to be a bit less rigid, but I don’t think I could be as free flowing as you. It’s just not in nature! 🙂

  6. I hopped around once and vowed to never do it again. Filling in the blanks nearly gave me a nervous breakdown. I’m a linear girl.

  7. Haha, loved your smiling face pasted on those adventurous activities. Whoa, how daring , to write a chapter out of sequence. I’ve been tempted, but I don’t think I’ve ever done it. 🙂 But actually, yours wasn’t that odd since it was the same viewpoint and you skipped the alternating viewpoint. Makes more sense. 🙂

    • Thanks, Carol! I had lots of fun with them (I did have some help).

      Glad to see I’m not the only one who is rigidly linear! And even my so-called break from tradition was actually still pretty linear. Hehehe.

  8. alberta ross

    would that we could see into our heads – are our synapsis wired differently – do I have a tangle of knots do you have nice clean lines – viva la difference!

  9. That is a pretty huge leap for someone who always writes lineally. I’ve tried it both ways, and have decided that my first drafts must be linear. After that I can jump all around the manuscript because I have that first draft as an anchor for the craziness, but I have to have that anchor first or I get lost at sea.

  10. So you’re saying your a rebel?! I love that you wrote out of sequence, for someone who always writes in order I know exactly how adventurous that is… already I look up to you and this is the first time we’ve met (virtually of course, ahem, well in general as well)….

    Nice stalking you 🙂

  11. Catherine Johnson

    Cool! Love the pics, I don’t even know how to photoshop. I’m dabbling in a YA in verse which flits back and forth between different povs and all jumbled in wrong order. Just playing with it really. I think it’s a practise for another book. That must be what happens when a pb writer tries to write novels lol. I hope this extreme action works out for you 🙂

  12. LOVE the pictures! How funny … 🙂

  13. Su

    The first time I wrote a chapter out of sequence, I almost passed out. I agree: It’s wild! And crazy! 🙂

  14. You’re either very talented at doctoring photos or you lead a very exciting life!

    Skipping a chapter makes sense if you’re going by POV. I’ll confess, I’ve done worse. I’ve skipped whole chapters ahead if a future scene is eating at me and I’m worried I’ll forget details by the time I get there. So I’ll write it, fill in up to it, edit it, and go past it. I don’t do it very often though.

    Good luck with your WIP.

    • Unfortunately the answer is neither, Theresa. I just have friends that are very good at doctoring photos. 🙂

      What you’re saying definitely makes sense, but when I’ve been in the same situation, I’ve just written notes instead of the chapter itself. Maybe next time I’ll give writing the chapter a try. 😉

  15. ali

    Cally, THAT was just wicked awesome! Loved it! And congrats for throwing your linearly-minded internal editor into the closet to get some writing done!

  16. (Gasp!) That is risky business! I write in a linear fashion too. It would totally freak me out to skip around, but I bet it is very free-ing 🙂

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