Nonlinear Writing Tips

If you want to write your own non-linear stories, you need to remember three things:

1. Keep your story organized

You want the audience to understand what the central part of the story is and what parts it is in. If you're not using flashbacks but instead jumping through space and time, like Tree of Life, you need to organize those things.

This should happen in the sketch phase.

2. Clearly define page breaks

It is not enough to just use INT and EXT. It should mark flashbacks, time jumps, and when/where we are, even in cuts. Study as many professional scripts as you can. See how the greats do it.

So it might seem...

FLASHBACK: INT. NO FILM SCHOOL - NIGHT

But there are also other ways to do it.

Just make sure the reader knows. Otherwise, life becomes confusing.

3. Link narratives thematically

This is more of a suggestion than a mandate. You want the stories or scenes to work with each other. If both are written with the same theme, the story won't feel like the non-linear elements don't fit.

Consistency in screenwriting is essential.

Make sure all the scenes work well together. What are you trying to say in each one? Are they connected enough to resonate, or do they feel like two or more unconnected stories?

Here are resources I recommend to get more in-depth knowledge

Storytelling 101 teaches you how to write compelling stories worthy of commercial success. This is best for screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, videogame writers and storytellers.

Children’s Books 101 teaches you how to write stories that children will love. This is best for aspiring children’s book authors and storytellers.

Owl AI is the revolutionary AI-powered content production platform that helps storytellers, writers, and bloggers of all subject matter easily create highly-polished content.

Success, Money & Mindset Subliminal is a self-hypnosis recording that we recommend to new writers to help with focus, concentration, creativity, and motivation.

Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.

STORYTELLING 101 PRODUCT IMG

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