Friday, May 24, 2013

Week 21 of the 52s...The Outline

I don't do outlines.  I hated doing them in school and I hate doing them now.  I write by the seat of my pants.  In the writing world, I am called a pantser and I'm totally fine with that.

It might seem very lame that I'm writing about a mere outline for this week, but trust me on this:  It's new, it's an experience, and I've rarely done such a thing, without coercion, in my life.  In my world, those three reasons qualify as a valid entry in the 52s.

This all came about because earlier today I was going to work on the next installment of the serial, but discovered I had too many thoughts about what was going to happen next, or should happen next, or might happen next.  It was giving me a headache.  I stood at the crossroads and looked all around me at the highways and paths, avenues and trails.  And I couldn't focus on any of them.  I was lost in the wilderness of choice.

So.  I did something I never do.  I sat at the computer this afternoon and began to sketch out where I wanted the story to go.  I dinked and deleted, changed things around then rearranged them again.  I've spent the better part of the day writing an outline that will take me nearly to the end of the story though I had to call a halt at a crucial juncture because my pantser mentality took over and made me stop.  I don't know how this story will end, and for now, I don't want to know.  I love being just as surprised as you, dear readers.

It was an interesting exercise.  I think it helped clarify a few things in my mind and there was a startling revelation that caught me off guard which was really cool.  Also, I should be able to write more consistently now that several of the next installments have been outlined and I won't have to stress about direction.  Hopefully.  In theory.

I will always be a pantser, it's just who I am and how I write.  But this was a good thing to do, and honestly?  It was kind of fun, though I don't plan to do it again anytime soon; it takes too much energy that I could actually have spent writing...


  1. When writing really large papers in grad school I have found that outliing definitely helps my organization and structure...but when "writing" I feel it hurts the spontaneity and flow.

  2. Yes, exactly. the outline process yesterday, it helped bring my scattered thoughts together, but left the spontaneity in how I will write from those notes.