Debra doesn't always work from start to finish on a story.
For a long time I was what I'd call a 'zig zag' writer. I never wrote a story from beginning to end, but would skip around as inspiration struck. I'd always start with chapter one, but from there it was anyone's guess as to what part of the story the next idea would spark from. It certainly made things interesting when it came to 'connecting the dots' to finish a project. I always had to be really careful about continuity and character development.
When I started writing my Holidays at The Corral series, I wrote them from start to finish with no skipping around. It was definitely a new way of writing for me, and one that worked well. Maybe the short length lent itself to a more chronological style. Since the stories weren't as long or as complicated as a full-length, there were less scenes to write overall and I had a more comprehensive picture of how the story would unfold in its entirety.
When I'm writing a full-length book, there's so much character development and plotting that goes on while I'm writing, that the story truly is a work in progress that is constantly evolving as it goes. I generally know how the story starts and how the story will end. However, for everything else in between, sometimes I don't know what's going to happen until it happens. Thus the zig zag...I write a little about this and then I write a little about that and then I might go back to this. Even though I'm writing all over the place, I usually have a good idea of where those scenes will fit into the final draft and overall arc of the story. From time to time I'll switch things around, which is the beauty of 'copy', 'cut', and 'paste'. As you can tell, I tend to be much more of a pantster than a plotter...especially when I'm writing full-lengths.
Now, the interesting thing will be I have several ideas for new full-length stories. I wonder if I'll continue with my newly found straight-arrow style of going from beginning to end or if I'll revert back to the zig zag style that has served me so well in the past for longer stories. Only time will tell, I guess.
How about you? Do you write from start to finish in a straight line like an arrow, or do you zig zag around?
Until next time,