Thursday, June 3, 2010

The day the outline died

I'm pretty much a die hard outliner. Usually. I like to give myself some vague points to work off from the start, and then once I get 10,000 words or so into the WIP, I sit my butt down and make a super thorough, point by point outline. Sometimes it changes, but at least I have it, and I know what the hell I'm doing.

But not this time. This WIP refuses to be outlined. I tried several times, sort of like how I tried writing the first 500 words several times, and failed spectacularly. The first 500 words finally worked out, but I gave up on outlining. I have a little list of Brilliant Plot Points I've thought of that belong later on, so that I don't forget them, but no outline. And it's actually working. It's sort of eerie. I'm probably jinxing it by writing this post. But there's so much happening in this WIP that I'm finding it easier to just go with it.

Is there a point to this? I thought there was, but maybe not. I guess I just wanted to point out that sometimes, mixing things up works. Fun as it may be, writing isn't always easy, and sometimes your tried and true methods fail you. Branching out of your comfort zone is scary sometimes, but it's not impossible, and it can really help get you over that block.

At least, it did for me!

11 comments:

Rachele Alpine said...

Outlines and I don't get along. I always try to do them, but I can't ever complete one. I wish I could; it would make me a lot more organized!

Jennifer Walkup said...

I am a pantser through and through. I couldn't outline if you paid me too. Welcome to the dark side.:)

Jenny said...

Outlines never were alive for me! Haha, but going with the flow can sometimes work out awesomely! Good luck with trying your new approach!

V.M.Pettingill said...

It's funny how you find your flow differently for different book. I'm so not the outlining type, but with Perspective I had to do it. With everything else; I tried and I failed...

Sarah Enni said...

this is awesome - go with it!

Tere Kirkland said...

I have to do a synopsis type outline for almost every scene before I write it. It's more like recording the flashes and ideas that play in my head. Like your plot points, I guess.

I'll almost always make sure I have an ending, or know how the story is supposed to end before I'll start drafting. I need direction, always.

Pantsing completely just gets me stuck.

Amanda Hannah said...

We both know my love/hate relationship with outlines ;)
I wouldn't worry though. Just like each author does it differently, each book can require a somewhat different method. Can't wait to read this one!

Jess said...

Oh man, I WISH I could outline. I've never been good at it... But as I got closer to finishing my current project, I knew there would be a lot of continuity issues if I didn't do something--anything. So I started a simple Excel spreadsheet that I use to record characters, relationships, important places, A things that need to happen before B things so C things make sense, etc. Works like a charm for me! :)

Michelle Schusterman said...

Same here!!! Plotted so much on my first book, I think my "notes" and spreadsheet documents had a greater word count than the first draft. Second book - no plot, totally worked out.

So odd.

Chanelley said...

That happened in my recent one too.

Medeia Sharif said...

I always do an outline.

I'd like to pants it someday, but right now I need the structure.