Writing out of Order

Writing out of Order

Some people like to work in a lovely, clean, linear pattern and I class myself as one of those people. In general, I prefer things to be neat and orderly but even more so when I write.

No matter what I’m working on, whether it be a short story or a post on this website, I always have an outline. I write all of my ideas down on paper, and if I can, I try to have them in some sort of sensible, easy to read structure.

With fiction writing, I like to know what kicks the story off. I like to have the whole of the beginning figured out before I move on and then its the same with the middle and the end. I feel the same way about the actual writing process too.

When I get going, I take out my outline and keep it in sight while I begin to write, starting with the first scene and writing through each one in sequence until I have finally completed a first draft.

However, recently I have been trying to step out of my comfort zone just a little bit, by writing my scenes out of order.

I’ve tried this a few times before, but the force of habit has always made me revert to my old ways, which sounds like an excuse for giving up, and maybe it is, but it is hard to break a habit, especially when it’s a one that works for you.

As usual, this time around has been difficult, though I must say I am beginning to see what all the fuss is about.

Writing scenes out of order is helping me to remain on track. By starting with those scenes that I can not wait to write, the ones that I have thoroughly envisioned in my mind and am almost compelled to write, I have found that I can be a lot more productive.

There are always going to be tough scenes and scenes that you inevitably don’t want to write because they aren’t the most exciting parts of the story, but those scenes are usually few and far between if you have a lot of conflict going on.

There may be one or two drawbacks, however, for those who do not use an outline, such as a lack of continuity or repeating yourself unintentionally which could lead to confusion for your readers but this is easily remedied by writing a simple bullet list of the events of your story.

I actually feel a little freer writing out of order, and I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it’s because I feel as though I am getting more work done and feeling less stuck in one particular place, or rather in one particular scene. Either way, I think that for now at least, I’ll stick with it. I might just come to love it as much as my usual process. Perhaps even more so.

Anyway, thanks very much for spending your valuable time with my words, I very much appreciate it.

Until next time,


© 2017 GLT

Categories: scenes

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 replies


  1. Writing Short Stories – GEORGE L THOMAS
  2. Scenes and Sequels??? – GEORGE L THOMAS
  3. Yet More Writing Tips – GEORGE L THOMAS
  4. Working with Scrivener – GEORGE L THOMAS
  5. 5 Further Tips for Writing a Good Firsts Draft – GEORGE L THOMAS

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