This gave me hope as I have struggled with whether or not I should just bear down and bite the outlining bullet, but a few things kept getting in my way.
1. Outlining = Planning ahead… ===> Did you happen to see that thingy to the right of my blog that says Queen of Random? Uhm…yeah…it’s there for a reason.
2. Outlining takes away my ability to let ideas flourish organically.
3. ……????? I’m drawing a blank now…
This is a sad list, huh? Well…it’s all I’ve got and I realize it’s not enough to keep me from actually tackling the task at hand, and even more, these reasons are just excuses.
*First and foremost, being a spontaneous person does not mean you can’t be organized. I think many pantsers avoid outlining or some other method of structure because they don’t like structure…at least when it comes to the creative part of their brain. Structure makes them feel as if walls are around their ideas…like limits have been set.
But that’s not really the case.
Writing involves about a billion and one decisions, and planning ahead will narrow those decisions down, giving the writer a less confusing, less wandering path.
It’s as simple as this….
Would you rather try putting together a 10,000 piece puzzle or a 100 piece puzzle?
And as far as stifling creativity?
I realize that my creativity will still exist within the guidelines I set for the novel. Things can always change, and if my ideas are channeled, my brain won’t have the focus of a gnat with ADHD.
Organization does not prevent creativity. If anything…I think it would promote it.
I’ve said before that outlining is probably a blessing…like building a house…you need plans or you could end up with one giant mess.
I always believed it would make things simpler and easier, but I am stubborn and had to try to do things my way even though I knew my way probably wouldn’t suffice.
I tend to do things backward…act first, think later. And that’s exactly what I’ve done with this novel.
I do have to say that I’m lucky my current WIP has survived my mishandling and should, with a little TLC, escape unscathed.
AND…thankfully, in the writing world and land of many revisions, it’s okay to take a rough draft and streamline it according to a nice, new, shiny outline.
But…how I do this, I’m not sure.
It may not seem very difficult to all of you brilliant little plotters out there, but it is a HERCULEAN effort for me.
I’ll admit. I’ve tried plotting on giant posterboards taped together…arcing the story…creating a timeline. The creation spanned my living room taking up gargantuan amounts of space but that was about all it did.
I’ve also tried the post it note method but that was useless too…my house just ended up looking like a Staples store exploded in it.
And now I come back to my statement about structure. I like structure when it is sound…foolproof (which is important for me), when there is a precise method, steps to follow.
Otherwise, I avoid it, because by my definition, structure (especially when outlining) is like a skeleton..it has necessary parts that make it a framework. (WARNING: this is about to be the WORST explanation ever) The quadricep has a home on the femur. Without the femur, I have nowhere to hang my quadricep….and when I sit down and prepare to outline this novel, I realize how many missing parts to the framework there are and it overwhelms me…does that make any sense at all?
I remind myself that writing is not like a mathematical equation….a + b does not always equal c…THE BOOK OF WRITING written by GOD does not exist.
The writing process is a different journey for every writer and I am just figuring mine out…but…in the meanwhile, if you want to leave me tips…a little insight on your own mad skills…please feel free…I am a writer in need today and prefer asking you wonderful readers than Google.
So what about you? Plotter or Pantser? If you outline, what is your method?