One of the many things I enjoy about writing is the ever-existing opportunity to try something new. It could be writing in a different genre, it could be trying to plan a novel (or pantster one) or it could be a new PoV. That is probably why you see me writing in so many different genres. I come up with a story idea and it sort of tells me the genre it belongs in.
Scouts of the Apocalypse is a prime example of that. I’d never even considered writing horror before I got that story idea. But my Scouts enjoyed the campfire version of it so much, I knew I had to write it for real. A trilogy of horror novels is the result.
What’s the New Thing This Time?
“Try something new” this time is none of those things I mentioned above. It is something I know some people have had a lot of success with and I am trying for the very first time. What is it? Non-linear writing.
But, what do I mean by that?
I’ve written all my novels in a linear fashion until now. I write chapter one, then chapter two, then three and so on. The book is written with the events, in their proper order, until the story is finished. I sometimes have to add new information to an earlier part of the book to enable future writing but I rarely go back until I am done in an my editing phase.
That has worked well in the past, but I found I needed to change tactics for my fifth Mik Murdoch book. So many ideas are swirling around in my head. I have entire scenes, ready to write, and I also have more unfinished character interactions. I am trying something different by deviating from the linear writing to write the scenes I have already visualized (in advance). Connecting scenes will be added later.
Is it Working?
So far, so good. I have written a couple new chapters already using this technique. The proof will really be when I start stitching everything together. Will it be as cohesive as I want? I cannot answer that. At least, not yet. But it is worth trying because I am feeling less stuck with the story and new ideas are blossoming along the way. Trying new things is fun! 🙂
I missed one day of writing last week. I had a late meeting that pulled me out of the house. By the time it was over and I returned home, everyone was already asleep. I did what any sane person would (probably) do and went to bed myself. My writing totals the next day were more than triple my goal so I guess I made up for it.