Keeping My Outline In-line

30 May

Yesterday I attempted to contain my flighty attention and throw together my own unique version of a chapter outline for a new project I’m working on.  To say the result was rough would be an understatement of epic proportions. 

I tried to concentrate on transcribing main ideas that I wanted to include in each chapter, I really did.  However, it was nearly impossible because the specifics would start rolling and get jumbled in with the big picture stuff, ultimately throwing my outline out of line.

Outlining this book is a first for me.  I’ve read numerous other blogs that speak to the struggle some writers have with composing and utilizing such a tool.  And now I am joining their ranks.  Before this point I had always flown by the ink of my pen and figured out the story as my characters developed and as I grew to appreciate their idiosyncrasies.  With four manuscripts under my belt, I’d say that in my eyes, I’ve been fairly successful. 

So, why the change, you ask?  To be honest, I’m still having trouble hashing out coherent chapters that go higher than number five.  In the past it’s always been much easier to write disjointed conversations and then form the resulting scenes into paragraphs that mesh with previous chapters.  But when those inspiring words aren’t flowing, I’m willing to try anything to turn on the literary faucet that has been installed inside the plumbing of my head.

I figure if I have even a semblance of an idea in outline form, then maybe I can mold it into chapter six… and seven… and eight… and… Well, you get the point.

Happy writing/outlining/waiting/promoting your next work of art!



2 Responses to “Keeping My Outline In-line”

  1. Wildcat's Wife May 30, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    This is why I can’t write a traditional novel chapter outline. I type a screenplay treatment. I know, crazy!! But, for me, it really helps. I’m extremely disorganized and must get ALL my ideas down, then shave. My writing training has been in screenplays and treatments and TV show pilots, this is all I know.

    • movingforeword May 30, 2012 at 9:08 am #

      That sounds about like how I’ve treated my novels to date. Conversations and back and forths, a bit of “stage directions,” with the bulk of the descriptions and blocking added afterward. I like your style, WW!

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