Breaking Free From Chapters

I heard some good advice last week. It was basically saying that not every writer writes the same; some like to plan in detail and write chapter-by-chapter, while others find it easier to be less constrained. We all know this anyway, but the most important point I took away from it was that you shouldn’t always feel an obligation to write in chapters.

I recently started trying out this with my own writing. I’m exactly the sort of person who hates detailed planning and feels pressure to achieve a certain amount of words per chapter. So, I took one of my three viewpoint characters, mapped out their next actions clearly in my head and just wrote. When I felt a natural break/end of scene, I moved onto my second character, without naming a new chapter and only dividing the text with a single asterisk. In this way, I wrote pretty well and progressed nicely. I didn’t feel constrained by a chapter and felt more able to throw my ideas at the page and leave the major edits for the next draft.

You may think that the above is commonsense, but sometimes us writers need a reminder of the obvious. Try it out and see if it works for you.

Remember, you can still take part in the Fantasy In Motion fantasy story! Just take a look at the below post and leave a comment with your entry.

Friday Fiction: The Story


4 thoughts on “Breaking Free From Chapters

  1. Zack Hunter 19-Aug-2012 / 20:20

    Agreed. I think it’s best just to flow and get lost in the story. I like improvising for this reason.

  2. trixycae 21-Aug-2012 / 21:56

    I did this recently, when writing the last half of my novella. I started off with structured chapters but ideas and scenes kept popping into my head so I just wrote them down as they came and started to piece them all together. I’m just about to start editing the first draft so I might find that it doesn’t all make sense but it was certainly a liberating way to write.

  3. L. Palmer 21-Aug-2012 / 22:03

    I’ve done this recently because I like the flow of it better than writing chapters. I might go back and add chapters in a later draft. However, it makes the overall piece feel more cohesive and whole. You’re not writing to the end of a chapter. You’re writing to the end of where the scene takes you. I think it’s more free.

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