Thursday, April 21, 2011

Author Blog Hop: Do You Write in Logical Order?

Thanks to Amy Romine for this interesting blog hop question.

There are two issues in answering the question:

First, what is meant here by "writing"? Are writing and drafting the same? Perhaps the question is: Do I draft in the order in which the material will eventually be read? The answer to that, of course, is that I can't know while I'm drafting whether that will be the final order of the prose or the final logic of the story. In any case, whether or not I write each scene in the order that I assume it will be used, I do have a sense of that order in my head, even if I write the prose for the last scene before I write the first scene.

Secondly, if by "logical," the question is asking whether I tell a story in temporal order, event by event, then I would say, yes, usually, but there are certainly exceptions such as flashbacks. My temporal appoach on the whole is conventional, although I admire authors who can fragment or even dispense with time in their storytelling. That's really tricky to do well.

Thanks again. It's been fun to think about this!


  1. 'In any case, whether or not I write each scene in the order that I assume it will be used, I do have a sense of that order in my head'. I usually do too. I'll have the beginning, middle, and end in sight, but those can always change at the whim of my characters.

  2. Quite true, my answer was more about starting out, the pre-planning stage, where I don't really know where I am going - but it's through this 'pre-draft' stage, I start writing scenes, out of order.

    This has been a great question and you've raised some good points :)

    Thanks for playing along!

    Here is my blog post for today!


  3. I consider any writing to be writing, draft or finished product. It's all the same process, to polish and make it shine. :)
    I didn't consider that the question addressed whether the story itself was linear - interesting point. It is difficult to jump from one time to another without jarring readers. I actually have a story in mind I'd love to do that, but I've held back because I'm afraid I'll flub it!

  4. Funny, I've never considered writing a draft. I'm guilty of writing from start to finish...what I hope will be the finished product. Of course, I go back and edit and add here and there, but I never consider I write a draft. I re-read frequently to avoid repetition which I find in so many novels and dislike immensely. This has been an interesting question, and I'm so surprised to see how many are able to jump forward in the process. I envy them.

  5. I always, always, always write a draft. I can't think without them. Then, after I edit and revise, I generally re-write a new outline and draft again.

    I'm a little meticulous. :-)

    Anne, I've left an award for you. Come on over to and collect your prize.

  6. You have thoughtfully answered this question by breaking it down into two parts. I think you are a logical thinker, for sure. Good insight on this interesting question. Thank you.