So Writing Out of Order

So I’ve got a novella/novelette/longer-than-a-short-in-any-case that I’ve been trying to plow through in chronological order.

This isn’t working. I’m not good at constructing master plots from start to finish, or even finish to start, or finish to start to middle. I know one’s supposed to write through the crap, but I just don’t feel like it. Maybe I’m being foolish, but I’ve got something to try out.

I’m using Cardboard on my Transformer tablet (’tis a wonderful Android thing) to construct a matrix of index cards that are short 1-2 sentence summaries of scenes or even strings of scenes I want to write. They come in no order, and can occur years apart in story time. All that matters is that they’re scenes I want to write. Maybe I can bridge them later effectively, maybe not.

I use colors to mark up which ideas are formative, which have first drafts, and which are almost finalized, and a last color for when they are final. I then sort by color, and muse, and then go to bed. I can sleep because I’ve recorded the ideas down in the matrix.

And when I feel like writing, anything from 100 to 2000 words, I can pick a card and just write for a while.

Who knows. Once I gather enough cards and drafts, I might be able to write enjoyable bridges. Gods know it’s probably not kind to readers to have boring bridges between enjoyable bits. (At least, from the reader’s side of the book, it’s certainly annoyed me.)

Bed now.