In the previous article, I discussed the pros and cons of skipping the “boring” chapters in order to get straight to writing the chapters that really interest you. Here, I want to talk about what I tend to do, pushing through the boring chapters and writing everything in plot order.
Writing Linear Plot
Pro: Consistency is the Key
You’re much less likely to forget about an important plot element or mess up consistency if you write in order.
Pro: Smoother Character Development
When you write chapters in order, you’ll have smoother character development. When you jump around and skip through time, character development won’t be as organic and smooth as it would be if you stuck it out and moved forward chapter by chapter.
Pro: Carrot on a Stick
I tend to use those chapters I really want to write as an incentive to write the chapters that are less interesting to me.
Pro: Discovery Along the Journey
Sometimes if you put yourself to the task of writing what you think is a less interesting chapter, the characters will come along and spice it up with something you wouldn’t have expected. This takes the story off into uncharted territories, and might even change the outcome of those chapters you want to write. You might not get this effect if all you’re doing is filling in the plot holes between chapters you’ve already written.
Con: Production Slowdown
Man… this chapter is so boring. Do I really want to sit here and force myself to write it? I’m just not in the mood for it. Let’s see what’s new on Netflix…
Con: Complete Block, Project Setback
I just can’t do it. I can’t write this chapter. I’ve tried everything! Maybe I should just put this project down for now. (Three years later, it’s still not done.)
Is there a correct method? Is one better than the other?
Only you can weigh the pros and cons between the two and decide for yourself. If you don’t think you’ll have an issue keeping plot events in mind while you skip through chapters, and it gets you out of a plot block, give it a shot. There’s always editing.
However, the better solution is to ensure that no chapter is a boring chapter! That’s right, you heard me! Next time I’m going to talk about what you can to do change your perspective on the so-called boring filler chapters, and different ways to approach that chapter that just doesn’t want to be written.