I, personally, believe that the hardest part of writing is sitting my ass down in the chair when there are so many other things that I could be doing. Like, lunch dates with my friends. Or housework. Or root canals.
So, I tend to “reward” myself with treats on those days when sitting down to write feels like a monumental task (something akin to having said root canal without the anesthesia). And those treats always seem like a really good idea, like dangling a carrot in front of a horse, until about twenty minutes later when I’m coming down off my sugar high and jonesing for my next big fix.
But as far as actually putting the words on paper stuff, here goes: I AM NOT AN OUTLINER. (There, I've said it)
Instead, I’m a jump-right-in-and-see-where-this-thrill-ride-takes-me kind of gal. Which is not to say that outlining isn’t a valuable tool. It is. Or that I don’t know where my story is going. I do. Sort of. And I’ve probably even written it down, kind of, on a scrap of paper that I’ve stuffed into a folder marked: “The Novel I’m Working on Right Now”. Which is…somewhere.
I do, however, use Plot Points. My story has a plan, and I know that, along the way, certain things are going to happen at certain points. It’s the filler in between that’s a surprise…the how I’m going to get from one point to the next, that just kind of evolves.
My problems with outlining are these:
1) I generally have my best ideas while I’m working. I’ll get to a pivotal scene, somewhere in which I haven’t figured out exactly what is going to happen next…and I’m there…and I’m in it…and AH-HA! Just like that, I’ve got it all figured out. And generally, that changes the direction of where I might have thought I was heading, even if only a bit.
2) I’m just not that organized.
3) I feel like I’m stuck once I’ve outlined, like that is the story that I MUST tell. And what if it isn’t? What if I’ve gotten to one of those Ah-Ha moments, and I want to stray? Then what? Throw away the outline? Are you kidding? It’s already written down. On paper. I’m not sure I can do it.
So, essentially, I sit down, open my Word Document, and start pounding away at the keys. Or spinning in my chair. Or checking my email. Or my blog. Or eBay…
- Does anyone else need a treat right now?