ASK AUNTIE MJ: SKIPPITY DO DA

handful-of-berries asked you:

Do you think it’s better to start at the beginning of your novel and just write straight through or skip around and write the parts you’re most excited about first?

Glorious handful-of-berries,

Auntie MJ is a skipper. I don’t usually write books from start to finish. I know loads of people who think this is CRAZY TALK and start very the first sentence and write straight through to the last. The very idea makes my brain itch.

So this answer may be overly simple, but that doesn’t make it any LESS TRUE. Do what you like. If you want to skip, skip. If you want to write in order, write in order. I would only suggest, as a certified skipper … don’t just AVOID the parts you think are hard. Set some sort of internal goal for where the scene has to go or how much of it you have to do. Forge on with a whole small section. Go back and do some links you’ve been trying to work around. I say this because you can sometimes build up fear about those sections, or falsely think they’re going to be more difficult than they actually turn out to be.

I’ll say this again, because I cannot stress it enough: there is NO RIGHT WAY TO WRITE A BOOK. For every author, and every book, there is a method. History is full of stories of WEIRDO TECHNIQUES people have used to finish books. They are all equally valid. Anyone who tells you otherwise can go POUND SAND.

In fact … IN FACT … I would propose there are no WEIRD TECHNIQUES. Only techniques. Do it YOUR WAY.

You are never as weird as you think you are. 

Skippingly,
Auntie MJ