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This or that – Chronological order?

Today’s “this or that” question is: Do you write a book in chronological order or do you jump around?

I’m in the latter group. I write scenes as they come to me. The first scene is usually first, but I nearly always write the last scene next.

This process may go back to a conversation I had with my trigonometry teacher in high school.  I was complaining to him that I could never draw a straight line.  He told me to draw both endpoints, then put the pencil on the point A, lock my gaze on point B, and draw. It worked. A nearly perfect line.

image by Dean McCoy at flickr creative commons commercial allowed

I write the same way. It goes something like this:

  1. Beginning scene
  2. Final scene
  3. Midpoint
  4. Two or three other scenes that have popped up in my head along the way
  5. “Connect the dots.”

I am co-authoring a book with my friend Lisa Amowitz. I am Team Jump Around; she is Team Chronological Order. It has been an interesting difference to resolve.

 

Do you start with the beginning scene and work straight through–or do you jump around? Leave us a comment and tell us about your writing process.

 

 Elizabeth Langston is a 3-time Golden Heart finalist. Wishing for You, book 2 in her YA genie series, releases in October. She’s working on book 3 now (and, yes, she started working on that story by writing the final scene of the trilogy). Elizabeth hopes to extend her Whisper Falls series, YA time-travel romance, with three novellas–and she’ll likely jump around with that too, from 2019 to 1771 to 2020. To learn more about Elizabeth, check out her website.

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  • June 10, 2015
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