A question that’s been on my mind today as I start work on a new novel (I know! Exciting! More on this later :)) – who writes their novels in chronological order? As with all things writing, there’s no right or wrong way, but I’m interested to know how many people prefer following their stories through from beginning to end, and those who jump around from scene to scene.
For me, I always write chronologically. It’s important to take that journey with my main character. Especially when it comes to first person, which all my work since my first two novels has been. I need to be right there with my protagonist, every moment, every step of the way, experiencing how they feel when they feel it – and as closely as they feel it – so their later actions and emotions are a direct result of what has happened previously. I’m envious of writers who achieve this even when hopping between scenes. Tell me your secrets! If I even skip a single scene I find I start feeling lost and unconnected with my character.
Of course I do sometimes tease myself by writing little tidbits of scenes to come, but these usually tend to just be glimpses or snatches of conversation that I’ll later expand on and edit to work into the novel. A few chapters in both The Elites and The Memory Keepers were done this way. And when I’m still in the research and ‘getting into the mood’ stage of writing, before I’ve started properly on the first draft, I’ll write scenes from all over the place. It definitely helps ground me in the new fictional world I’ll be spending the next few months in, and gets me excited to begin!
How do you write? Let me know in the poll below!