i never outline. except when i do.

I’ve always been anti outlining. Fine for other people, of course, if they’re into that sort of thing, but not for me.

But I think writers, or artists in general, should never get too tied down with where they create, or when, or how.

I’ve been going over the notes about the story I’m picking up again after a hiatus, and I’m suddenly aware that my notes are confused about the sequence of places the characters visit (there’s only two, but in which order?), exactly why they’re going to one of the two places at all, and exactly who is going (well, mostly that’s clear, but half of my notes seem to assume that one particular character is going, and the rest don’t mention him at all — plus, if he does go, how are they going to fit in one car?).

So, yeah, maybe time for an outline.

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3 Responses to i never outline. except when i do.

  1. Maggie says:

    I always do an outline, but I only outline half of the story, so there’s room for the story to go in different direction. I don’t like to tie myself down to one particular outcome.

  2. SB Roberts says:

    … or at least a vague outline with wiggle room for the moments when characters decide they’d like to take over the writing process. 🙂

  3. Maggie: I like to try to tie myself down to a specific outcome, but then I have a lot of trouble getting there. With my current story (this has happened before) the ending is all written. It’s pretty good. I’m not taking any bets on whether I’ll get there.

    Bryna: The main thing I’ve discovered in the course of the outlining (well, it’s mostly just making notes) is that the story doesn’t have enough conflict. The stakes aren’t high enough.


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