This month of daily writing advice will include tidbits, tips, and sometimes tricks. This isn’t a replacement for editing or book coaching, it’s meant as a jumping off point for exploration and thought! I hope it helps! ~Amy
WRITING BACK AND FORTH AND BACK AGAIN
I’m so glad a few of you suggested topics for #30DaysofWritingAdvice. Today you can thank Terri for asking about non-linear story structure and writing practice.
I can speak best to writing practice, since I will, at times write whatever scene comes to me or that I need to figure out. I almost always write the last scene before I get to the end. That’s the way I know where I’m going. My last scene, quite honestly, sticks with me more than any other as time passes.
I think probably the best use of a non-linear writing practice is to avoid writing slumps — or what you may call writer’s block. When I’m procrastinating, or am uninspired, or frustrated, or particularly challenged with a spot in the book — I go to another spot in the story and write a scene. It inevitably gets me back on track.
Another time I wrote “out of order” was in a WFWA Donald Maass workshop. Don’t shy away from opportunities to write something different than what you’re working on in your book at that time. It allowed me to develop ideas that I’d just been thinking about.
In terms of a non-linear story-structure, my only experience right now is The Last Bathing Beauty, which has two timelines throughout the book which add up to one story. It’s not an every-other chapter structure, I basically told enough of the story in the present, to warrant filling in the story in the past. Each timeline tells its own linear story, and together it tells a bigger story. the chapters in the historical timeline don’t so much serve as flashbacks but as what makes the present day storyline possible.
I don’t know if that makes sense — and it was a bear to construct, I’ll be honest since it was building two separate stories that together told another story.
I’m staring down an editing deadline now (May 13) and if that sounds like a lot of time I assure you IT IS NOT!
If you have any questions about what might be gibberish here — just shoot me a quick question in the comments and I’ll answer. (Of course if you concentrated, deep, advice on your story, you can hire me!)
More post suggestions welcome, folks!
HAPPY PASSOVER & HAPPY EASTER!
SEE YOU TOMORROW!