Writing Time Thursdays: Outlines

So, last week, I did a "Character Thursday." The Thursdays I'm not writing a Character Thursday, I'll do a post on writing. It could be writer's block, outlines (today's topic), stereotypes, or anything I can think of that pertains to writing. Sound like a plan?

Today's topic is outlines. Do you make them? And if so, how do you use them? Or are you one to just start writing and let the story take you where you go?
Having done both, here's a little of my opinion.
Pros: It's nice to know exactly where your story is going. When I wrote Snatched, I used an outline because it was for NaNoWriMo. I didn't finish in November, and ended up writing 34,000 during my Christmas break. It was nice to not have to worry about what would happen if I had writer's block, because I could just pull out my little outline and wah-lah! There was my solution. The only problem is that half way through my November run, I lost my outline and had to make a new one, and it wasn't nearly as good as the first one. And guess what. In January, as I was cleaning my stuff out for finals, I found the first, but better, outline. AFTER I had finished the book.
Cons: Why should I be limited to the outline? Last week I started an outline for The Assassin. In this outline, the infamous Seth Edwards was supposed to be introduced in the fifth chapter, but I guess Seth didn't like it because I'm working on chapter two, and Seth had waltzed on into my story just a little too soon. Stories don't always work with your outline and when they don't, it's pretty damn frustrating. Also, sometimes, it's hard to know where the story is going until you get to that point. I've tried to outline Super Ordinary several times now, to no avail, because I don't know where the story is going. The only planning I've done on it is on my handy-dandy white board up in my bedroom (see pictures). The book has kind of been shelved for The Assassin, but, I'm working on it, little by little.
So, there are ups and downs to the world of outlining, and I guess it really just depends on the situation and the story.
Feel free to let me know what y'all think of outlines!

love, Lala

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

I do outlines but I'm usually not as strict to them as I used to be. Three years ago everything I wrote HAD to be written on the outline paper. Today I've done a hundred outlines for all my stories but the story winds up awful if I squeeze it into the outline when it won't fit. I guess a general outline is okay, but I have to keep my mind open to the possibility of it, uh, not working. :P

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