One of the techniques I use to get structured written content assembled quickly is to write it in layers.
If you’re daunted by the complexity of what you have to write – be it non-fiction or the complexities of a novel with of its character arcs, plot, dialogue, need for pacing and so forth, try this.
I’ll often start with the skeleton of a chapter or sequence – the main thrust of what I want to say.
Then I’ll go back and add a layer – add nuances to the argument, build points or add detail. It might be a particular type of detail, for instance.
Then I’ll go back again – and add another layer, like ‘colour’.
About this time I’ll often re-style it around the more complex nature of the content.
I guess the analogy is similar to sculpture or painting – you start with the broadest strokes covering the whole canvas, then go back and detail it in sequence.
It’s the inverse of the method by which you totally finish one part before moving on to the other. The advantage is that it gives you that structural overview from the outset.
Does this work for you? Have you ever tried this approach before?
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013