As I stated in my last blog post, I have been participating in this year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. I have just been writing and writing and writing whenever I get the chance or have a new burst of inspiration.
I have even taken to writing while on the job…I frequently come home with pockets full of receipts that look like this:
The key to NaNoWriMo is to just simply write. Write whatever comes to mind, whenever the inspiration strikes you. At this point writing perfectly should be the least of your concerns. If you focus too much on making your writing perfect, you’ll never get anything done.
For me personally, I’ve found that when I write whatever comes to mind or whatever I have the inspiration for, I end up writing my novel quite a bit out of order. I have about 3 or 4 sections/chapters that go in order and then two sections that I’m saving to add in in the middle or end of the novel. Those last two sections are some of the novel’s strongest parts, even though they were written out of order. I really toyed with the idea of whether or not I should allow myself to write out of order, but after some encouragement from fellow writer friends, I went with my gut instinct and just wrote what I had the inspiration for.
Now as I reflect on the work I’ve done so far I notice that writing my novel out of order has some serious benefits. For example, in one of the later portions I wrote, one of the characters is going to die. By writing this section I realized that in my first three or four sections I didn’t mention much about him. I need to make him a much more stronger character in the beginning if I want his death to be as dramatic as I’m hoping it will become. In another scene my character contemplates committing suicide by jumping from a window on the top floor of a library. This is a very big scene, but I haven’t developed my story enough for it yet. I should probably work on strengthening the character’s depression and give the character a reason to go to the library or show the character going their a lot if she’s going to be familiar enough to know how the windows work to begin with.
Writing my novel out of order allows me to see my characters in new perspectives. I see them for how they are at the moment and how they are going to be in the future. Then I can figure out what I need to do to them for those in between sections. These same principles can apply to my plot and settings along with a multitude of other details in the novel. When writing a novel, the order you write it in doesn’t really matter. The important thing is to just write, something I’ve done quite a bit of these days..especially on receipt paper.