Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wannabe Writers #37

Where I am in the writing process: Unpublished. Never fully finished a story unless you count one I wrote in middle school and a fanfiction.

My current problem(s): Getting some balls. Yep. Balls. And I might even need some Jumbo Coconut Balls (points for you if you can guess what movie that saying came out of) if I'm really going to turn my old WIP into a YA novel. I have a lot of things outlined. A lot of ideas, and some missing plot holes that seem to make more sense when the story is now being told through a seventeen year old rather than a twenty-four year old. But I dunno. I'm afraid that I might just crap this story all over the place and end up hating it. Yes, I know I am over analyzing the hell out of this. Welcome to my neurotic writing life.

My question this week: How do you outline? I usually give myself big points like what I want to happen at the beginning, middle, or end. I know it will change at some point, but I'm curious how other people do it.


  1. What I've done that works for me is I plan out the big points. Then as I write, I do a more detailed outline of the next chapter. This lets me still "write on my toes" so to speak, but not have to write blindly. It's also very freeing because you can change things whenever you want.

    I know what you mean about needing a pair. It's very daunting to try to write a novel. I'm trying to adapt a short story of mine, and it's pretty scary at points.

  2. I've done all sorts of outlining. For my first novel, (which ended up being set aside for now), I outlined every single detail. Seriously. The outline was pages long in my notebook and while it did help me, it was ridiculous to put together.

    With my second book, I outlined just the more 'major' points, and the first draft ended up only being like 35K. I'm revising it now and I've found that adding stuff is SO much easier than trying to cut stuff out (the story of Novel #1 pretty much...)

    For my third one, which I'm working to do the first draft now, I didn't outline anything, and so far I like it the best this way. I've made notes in my notebook as far as certain details that I'll need to remember, but that's it.

    So I guess I've tried all of them. The 'no outline' book is still very very short so I'm not sure how that will turn out. I think I outlined sooo much with my first book because I wanted to absolutely make sure everything was taken care of and all I had to do was concentrate on writing it. I think you just gotta do exactly what you feel like would work best for you.

    Holy crap that was a long comment. Sorry, haha.

  3. I use the 3-act structure to plan my novel. There are different versions of it, but it helps me plot and plan what my novel is going to be like. I don't list every small detail of my novel, but I do list the big points.

  4. I am very, very bad at outlining. I'm not sure you could say I have an outline at all, at least in the beginning. It's all in my head, what I want to happen and when. I write out of order, scenes whenever they pop into my head. My MS, as a result, is a puzzle that I have to put together and figure out what goes where.

  5. On my first novel, I didn't outline at all. It was pure research and then writing everything that popped into my head. For my second novel, I plotted out each chapter with the major highlights on what I wanted to happen in that specific chapter. It seems to be working well.


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