The Hard Part: Getting Past the Outline

Handwritten notes
Pages and pages of notes that need to turned into a book.

Outlines, I think are good things.  We can probably agree on that, though some of us don’t do real good with them.  I know that I don’t always like them, often preferring to free write most, if not all, of the way through a story.

This approach is fine for short works, but things can get a bit confusing and frustrating for me when I’m working on longer pieces.  That’s why, I’m trying to split the difference by freewriting a bunch of ideas into a loose, sort-of outline.

I’ve spent the better part of the last month scribbling away on a new story.  From the notes that have been compiled, I’m sure this will be a novel length endeavor, and I’m pretty excited about it.

What I now have is pages and pages of handwritten notes of all the chapters that need to be fleshed out.  It’s not an outline in the traditional sense, but maybe it’ll work.  The ideas are down,  but they need to have some life breathed into them.  That’s the hard part.

So, I’ll get to work on that, turning rough ideas into hopefully smooth sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and finally a readable book.  It looks to be a long process, but I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

What do you think about outlines?  Are they absolutely necessary, nice to have, or not needed at all?  Let me know what you think in the comments below and stop back by soon!

One thought on “The Hard Part: Getting Past the Outline

  1. Outlines are one of those things that a lot of writers swear you need. Some say you only need a rough sketch. Some say you need every scene planned down to the last detail. I’ll freely admit that I like to free write. I have an idea where I want the story to go and that’s where I’ll be until something nudges me and then I’m off in another direction. Sometimes I hit a dead end but sometimes that little nudge can be a whole sub plot that scorches through the book. When I started this one I had post its on the back of the door and some notecards. Did I use them all? No. But maybe it helped me sort through enough to get into gear.

    Your idea about the notebook sounds great. You can go back to it as you write and pick up things you want to add. Congratulations on the forthcoming novel! All stories start from a little acorn 😊

    As we write we learn what works for us and what doesn’t. You might decide at the end of this that you love outlining and that it keeps you focused. Or that it stems your creative process. Use what works for *you*.

    Liked by 1 person

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