About Outlining

Over the past few days, I’ve had the chance to get a schedule down to where I could write for a number of hours an evening. I have forgotten how much fun it can be to create a story, indeed, people and bring them to life with your ideas on a sheet of paper.

I’ve mentioned before that I studied a number of authors who give away their secrets on writing. One renowned writer says that there is no wrong way to outline. That was one of the most freeing statements I ever experienced. And I went with it. I am not one who likes to tie myself down to rules.

So, here I was burning through my outline at a break-neck speed. The more I wrote the outline, the more I wanted to get to the story. I got the first twenty chapters done. I couldn’t take it any more. I threw the outline to the side and started pounding out the story. Naturally, having to go back to the outline every so often, I had to remind myself where I was going with the idea I just tapped out.

Keep in mind; this is the second time I am using an outline. So I’m still getting the hang of the whole new game for me. I read the first line to the outline and start typing. As I am running the story through my head, I’m getting more and more involved in the story line. Believe it or not, I have no idea what is going  to happen next!

Spoiler alert– I wrote the idea of the story and I am in suspense over what is going to happen next?

The point is this; Just because a story has been outlined, that has no bearing on where the story is going. Because, ideas and opinions always change. And I like to believe mine change for the better. But that is all a matter of opinion.

There are times I will read the outline and wonder; what was I thinking? Other times will wonder; was I thinking? People find themselves laughing at what they write. It is much different when you read it compared to when you run it through your mind and jot it down on a paper.

I have mentioned previously that Stephen King re-write his novels as much as seven times before publishing it. I understand that idea. I have already rewritten the first fifteen chapters of the book I have coming up (hopefully at the end of this year). I’m now working on the twentieth chapter. I have to go back to outlining to figure out what is going to happen for the rest of the novel. I find that exciting.

Here is the other thrill of writing; bringing the characters to life. I find myself talking to my characters. How else are you supposed to get to know your characters? To be honest with you, I got the idea from K.M. Weiland. She mentioned that in one of her advice books on how to write and I thought that is a wild but great idea. Just today I was talking to Jack. The hero of my next book. I got to know him a little better and I can manipulate him easier in the story.

This world of writing is an awesome place. It’s a great way to communicate to the world. It is also an inexpensive way to educate yourself. You have to know what you write about. Sometimes we writers spend a lot of time researching our subjects or plots.


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