No, not this blog! No, not the soda machine! I wrote a chapter for my upcoming WiP - you know, the urban fantasy one I talked about the other day on this blog - out of order. This chapter will occur somewhere toward the end of the second third of the book. This is an important chapter that results in the climax of the main conflict, but does not end the story.
What did I learn by doing this?
Well, I learned that if I don't carefully lead up to this chapter, set all the pieces in place, it will come across as contrived. You know how I hate contrived. Blech!
Out of context, the events of this chapter seem contrived.
Out of context, the events of this chapter are going to make the reader go what the heck??!!!
Yeah, I know, my future readers aren't going to read the chapter out of order. The possibility still exists, if I'm not careful, for the chapter to come across as contrived. I don't want that.
In a way, by writing out of order, this one simple chapter, I have outlined . . . in my own crazy way. I now know what stones I need to set to create the path through the enchanted forest to get my characters to the point of this out of order chapter.
So, my point is: writing out of order isn't a bad thing . . . at least not in this instance. I know what I have to work toward so an allegedly spontaneous, pivotal, moment doesn't appear as, well, an allegedly spontaneous moment. This is definitely a good thing.
What about you? Have you ever written chapters out of order? Does this give you a pathway, so to speak, of where you need to go with your writing? Does this create more chaos than order for you, the writer? Comment away!!