Outlines Are Scary
Today I’m throwing a little bit of Shop Talk your way. I’m thinking I might do that a little. Anyone up for a Shop Talk Thursdays?
I’m not an outliner. Even in high school and college, when we were asked to turn in an outline with our papers, I wrote them after I was already finished with the whole thing. I don’t know what it is about outlines, but they scare me. I’m serious here people. If you tell me to sit down and write an outline for my new project I’d probably run from the room screaming.
The thing is, I can’t seem to get all my thoughts in a line for an outline. I discovered that in order for me to finish a book, I need to write it out instead of outlining it. I tried it once or twice and each time I ended up spending hours on an outline that I throw out in the end. It was no help for me at all.
I find this a little bit funny since I’m a big organizer outside of my writing. I like to carry a planner with me, I like to write things down on a calendar handing on a wall. I put reminders in my phone all the time. Yet, my writing is this part of me that’s against all things organized.
So how dow I write?
When I start a new project, I have a pretty clear idea of what I want my story to be. I may not have every little aspect figured out, but all my main ideas are in a row. When I sit down to write I start wherever the muse inspires me. I write out of order, out of sequence, and sometimes in different points of view just to get to know my characters. Once I finish the basic skeleton of the story, I go back and create a timeline/outline of my book to make sure I covered everything. It works for me.
The awesome part about being a writer and giving out writing advice is that I can tell you anything. It all depends on the person. Find what works for you and go with it. You can never go wrong with doing what you love.
Now, this is my story. What about you? Do you outline before or after? Do you write in sequence?
Disclaimer: There are always exceptions to the rules. I feel like I need to point out again that this is how I work. If it doesn’t work for you, than it doesn’t work for you. Find your own style and go with it.