Why You Might Want To Write Scenes Out Of Sequence

Writer’s Relief
3 min readAug 22

When you read a story, you typically start at the beginning, continue through the middle, and then finish with the end. But does that mean you have to write a story, novel, or memoir in that same order? It might seem odd or messy to write out of sequence, but the experts know there are benefits to creating scenes out of order — and also one caveat. Here’s why you might want to write scenes out of sequence.

Write Your Scenes Out Of Sequence: The Benefits

You won’t lose a good idea. We’ve all had this happen: You’re working on one part of the story when suddenly, a great idea pops into your head for a section you’ve already written or one that’s ahead. Instead of jotting down a few notes and using that inspiration later, you can strike while the iron is hot. If you wait to write the scene later, you risk losing the excitement and spark you have at your fingertips now.

You’ll stay motivated. Don’t lose your enthusiasm by forcing yourself to write through a portion of your story, novel, or memoir that you’re not ready to write. By writing the scenes you’re most motivated about, you’ll be less likely to procrastinate or develop a case of writer’s block.

You can fine-tune transitions between scenes. Once you have your main scenes written, you can go back and create the transitions between scenes. It will be easier to refine the details because you already know what you’re transitioning from and to and how your scenes play out.

How To Write Scenes Out Of Order

Keep careful notes. If you’re going to create scenes out of sequence, it’s important to keep track of what you’ve written and what still needs to be written by using an outline or a spreadsheet. Having a good tracking system will help you notice any gaps or missing pieces in the narrative.

Write all scenes with similar moods or settings at the same time. Keep the atmosphere of specific scenes uniform by writing them all together. Writing action scenes, romantic scenes, or any other scenes that have similar energy at the same time can help make your story more cohesive, since it will be easier to keep the mood and atmosphere consistent.

Writer’s Relief

Author’s Submission Service Est. 1994. We help authors reach their publishing goals with targeted submissions to literary agents and editors.