Turning Chaos Into Order

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As a kid, I loved jigsaw puzzles. There was something comforting about making sense out of chaos, especially when dealing with thousands of small interlocking pieces. Whether I worked to connect the straight-edged pieces first or tackled a specific feature or color, eventually the small groups of pieces came together to complete the puzzle.

When I started writing, I realized my writing style resembled my puzzle strategy. I’d heard of other authors starting from Chapter 1 and writing chronologically until the end. Seriously? Half the time I don’t even know how my story begins or how the order of events happen. But, alas, I have tried this approach…and failed. Miserably.

Stories seem to reveal themselves to me through a line of dialogue, an interaction between characters, or a glimpse of conflict that usually occurs at least halfway through the book. I get so excited to write these scenes that I plunge right in, unable to slow down and start from the beginning! While this approach keeps me inspired, it also ends up quite a bit messy and is quite the task to put all the pieces in the right order for a successful story. In the attempt to improve my efficiency as a writer, I downloaded a program called Scrivener to help me be able to maintain order in my early drafts. I think this program was designed for puzzle craft writers like me. A way to write by scenes and then restructure them in the right order without the hassle of working in one 150+ page Word document. Here’s to hoping this helps me be a more efficient writer!

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