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Nov 23, 2012

NaNoWriMo Tip #23: Writing Order

I usually add milk FIRST. I'm a rebel.

These are my personal tips for NaNoWriMo. You know the drill. Take only what works.

You don’t have to write a book in the order it will be read.

There are good reasons to start at the beginning and write until you come to the end. Even with a detailed outline, things change as you write, and you may find that you need to adjust your end to changes you’ve made to the beginning. But if you have a story told essentially in reverse—a story which revolves around a great secret, like a police procedural or a trick-ending novel like The Story of Pi—you might find it makes more sense, for the exact same reason, to write the book backwards, Memento style, even though that’s not how it will be written. (Unless you ARE writing Memento, in which case you definitely will want to write it backwards, or in other words, forwards. Confused yet?)

Because body tatoos are the best way to leave yourself reminders.

There are other reasons you may want to write the book out of order. If you have substantial subplots or a large number of PoV characters, parallel story lines or flashback scenes, it’s often easier to write all the same PoV scenes in a row, to keep a consistent tone, and then drop them into the right slots in the book. This is my standard writing method for the PoV-rich Unfinished Song series. Within each PoV, I write in chronological order.

If you write out of order, the trick is to make sure that you don’t trip yourself up. You have to carefully coordinate each character’s storyline so they merge logically.

If you prefer these Tips as an ebook you can buy it here for $0.99:


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