Saturday, November 12, 2011

Why I Love the Outline Stage of Writing

First, a quick (late) update on my goals. I am behind on TOI - but it is not a bad thing. I will explain why later in this post.

I am also behind on review the notes from my critiquers. However, since most of my critique partners are doing NaNoWriMo - and thus our meetings are suspended - I am complete caught up on my critiquing :)

Reading is going okay. I am currently re-reading Writing the Short Story - it is a great book and actually sparked the change in TOI. I have not decided what my other book will be for this month.

Now onto why I love outlining. Currently I am in the process of outlining TOI, my current WIP. Technically I already have an outline - so I am really re-outlining. So allow me to tell you a story. I was reading above mentioned book which has several gems of knowledge in it. Bickham talks about the story question and how it drives the plot of a story. That got me thinking about TOI's story questions was and - BAM! - I got this great idea for a first line. Then - BAM! - all the pieces started to fall into place for the plot. It was then that I realized that I need to change the outline for TOI.

Also, in my original outline I jumped around with view point characters. I am however re-evaluating that decision. The plan now is to map out the events of the story - then decide which POV to tell each scene from.

There are three reasons why I love the outlining phase of writing. First, the discovery. Stumbling on a brilliant scene that solves the problems you have been trying to work out. Change one simple world building decision that makes all the pieces come together like a puzzle - oh it is so exciting!

Second, organizing. I like order. I like making order out of chaos. So, when I have a plethora of disconnected flashes and ideas that I pull together to make a cohesive whole I get a sense of accomplishment.

And last but not least, flexibility. I love how pliable the story is in the outlining stage. I can change my mind about something at the snap of my fingers and then launch into a while new phase of discovery and organization.

So in short. I am really enjoying where I am in writing TOI. It feels great!

How are things going with your goals? What is your favorite phase of the writing process and why?

1 comment:

  1. That's the wonderful thing about outlines, they're not made of stone but of rubber, so they can be reshaped whenever we want :-)