Continuity & Writing Out of Order

I’m not used to writing out of order. I’ve always written my stories from beginning-to-end as they’ll appear in the final product. Thanks to my plot oops, however, I find myself having to rearrange scenes, and I’m a bit worried about continuity.

Actually, that’s not really accurate. It’s not so much that the order of the scenes changed (or at least not for the most part). What really happened is that they ended up shifted with new scenes required between them and some old scenes removed or changed. That doesn’t sound too bad, but the process makes me feel a bit like Victor Borge piecing together a song from parts. Like I’m making a patchwork novel instead of a single cohesive story.

I think (or hope) that once I’ve written the connecting scenes, it will stop feeling like that. Because it’s a bit discombobulating. It would be really easy to miss a connecting scene or even delete something by accident. It’s definitely not a way I would choose to work.

The only solution I’ve found is to be extra careful with my plotting and do extra editing once it’s put together. Not a perfect solution, but it’s what I got.

Does anyone write like this on purpose? I mean, anyone reading this specifically. I know that some people are said to write scenes as they think of them and then assemble them later. I’ve never talked to anyone who writes that way, though, so I’d be very interested in their process and how they avoid continuity problems.

I may go searching the internet to see if I can find a writer like that who’s written about their process and experiences. Until I find that, though, I’ll keep reminding myself that patchwork can turn into a quilt: a beautiful, cohesive whole.

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