Okay, Lady Glamis, pick yourself up off the floor!!
There is a power in outlining. Now, as anyone who reads this blog knows: I normally don't outline. Okay, I do, but I don't, so what I do, really doesn't count.
Or rather . . . what I did really doesn't count.
You see . . . gasp, the horrors . . . I outlined last week. Totally. I had this idea for a new project, broke the book into three sections, and actually wrote down events that need to happen in each section. I even went so far as to note what emotions the MC should experience in a few of the chapters.
I hate to admit this, but . . . this whole outlining (still very loose, nothing as detailed as Lady Glamis or Scott Bailey might do) thingy has made the writing process easier. I mean, I actually, for the most part, know what I'm going to write about each time I sit down at the computer.
Okay, I have the basics of what I'm going to write about, a series of events I want to happen, but this does make the process a wee bit easier. There are still many blanks to fill in between the events I know I want to write about, so there are stages of the process that are a complete mystery to me . . . and that's not a bad thing.
I'm not all into this structure thing, knowing what's going to happen next, and all that jazz. Sometimes, I like to be surprised. So, yeah, I did a fairly detailed (well, at least in my little world) outline, but nothing so detailed as Lady Glamis and Scott B.
So, for the unenlightened, here's a brief snippet of my outline process . . .
* Event 1
* Event 2
* conversation that goes w/event 2
* this chapter should convey MC anger/disappointment, etc.
* conversation that goes w/event 1
* Event 2
* this chapter should convey . . .
Okay, this is a really simplistic view of the outline. Mine keeps growing and growing. It's really quite frightening. I have written out some conversations that need to take place in certain events and bullet-pointed them into the outline. I'm keeping the chapters fairly short and sweet - direct, to the point, and no excess baggage.
As you can probably see, this is a loose outlining process that provides the stepping stones for the various chapters, but only the first few stones. The rest of the stones I have to put in place as I go . . . and I happen to like that style of writing. I don't want a detailed map, because, at least for me, half the fun of writing any story is the unknown adventure my characters take me on. Sometimes, in the middle of a chapter, a character does something so unexpected, so not on the outline, that it makes the writing fun and exciting.
So, I outlined this future project, but I'm not sure if I'll stick to his scheme on the next project, or the next one, or the next one. I guess I - and you, dear readers - will just have to wait and see.
Now, for the questions that should (at least in my opinion, be the part of any writer's blog): How about you? Do you wing it? Outline it? A combination of both? Are there benefits to your method? Disadvantages?