Writing in Sequence or Not?



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  • #31
    Originally posted by Cyfress View Post
    To write out of sequence you literally need to have cemented in stone what comes before. You need to have your note cards pasted on the wall and have each scene mapped out and understand what is happening and all that needs to be set. Then maybe writing out of sequence may make more sense.
    This is a very extreme take. You don’t need to do anything. Some processes may be more conducive to smooth sailing but if you have every story beat outlined (my process) then writing out of order (not my process, generally) could be seamless. And even if you don’t have every beat down it could STILL work for you. It wouldn’t be my recommended course, but I’m sure it works for some people despite the likelihood of a disjointed outcome being more likely, IMO.


    • #32
      I would also think that taking the time to "literally" cement in stone the preceding scenes would be arduous, expensive, and a poor use of one's time.


      • #33
        arduous: involving or requiring strenuous effort; difficult and tiring.

        Good Writing is arduous , isn't it? As far as expensive, not sure what you mean. Poor use of time trying to cement in stone the beats to your story? If that's not the end goal of your process then what is?


        • #34
          Originally posted by Cyfress View Post
          To write out of sequence you literally need to have cemented in stone what comes before. .
          I'd say the opposite. The whole 'joy' of writing out of sequence is to keep your brain exploring new possibilities in a creative sense. As I drag portions of the idea together small things come together, it might be as small as a physical idiosyncrasy that humanizes a character right up to a lump of backstory. I don't find the actual sitting in a chair in front of my keyboard that creative, at that stage your the builder doing the dumb grunt work, no longer the architect designing the grad structure. I stay as the architect for as long as possible.
          I heard the starting gun



          • #35
            Working on new spec... just finished Act One... about 30 pages... but I was excited to write a scene that happens on page 60 vs page 30 and just said, let me write it now. It's in my head. And it may be the best scene I've ever written! But it's really good.

            I did have a 7 page outline of the entire movie, so I think without knowing the major beats I would not be able to do that.

            It's fun. Give it a shot.


            • #36
              I wrote a lot of the scenes out of sequence. I found it refreshing.

              Now I did write Act One first, but I just had fun writing scenes for the rest of the spec (Act II and III) in any order that I felt like that day instead of forcing myself to write the next scene that I wasn't excited to write that day.

              I finished the vomit draft. Working on rewrite now. Got good notes from a few writers -- some on this board. Thank you.


              • #37
                Originally posted by Bono View Post
                Do you write your screenplays from A to Z.... page 1 to page 110.... keep building.... or do you sometimes write the first ten pages... the last ten pages.... whatever scene you feel like writing today and just jump around?
                My "jumping around" is done before I start writing (while I'm working out the script in my head). I usually start by "seeing" a scene somewhere in the middle, then I try to figure out how my character got there and then come up with an ending and beginning that works (usually I try to figure out the ending first). When I start actually writing it's from start to finish because things change. Sometimes the character can no longer do what I wanted him or her to do at the beginning because they've morphed and taken control. In that case whatever I would have written for the ending would be totally irrelevant. (Probably just a sign of poor structure skills.)

                That said, I've always been attracted to applications like Scrivener, where everything is compartmentalized into little chunks and you write to an outline, using it as the story's backbone. But when I try it, it doesn't seem to work out at all. It seems too "mechanical" or too much "paint by number" and too "blah." (Probably subconsciously attracted to these applications because I know I need better structure but I don't have the discipline to apply them.)
                STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.