Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Outlined

I'm usually a pantser, but for this WIP, I'm trying something out of my norm. I opened a blank sheet in Scrivener (my writing program that rocks my face off and even lets me block out EVERYTHING on my computer except for the chapter I'm working on) and made a bulleted list of chapters. I'd already written chapters 1-9, so I started with 10 and typed up a list of little descriptions and snippets of dialogue I don't trust myself to remember by the time I actually write the chapter for real.

I outlined all the way to chapter 34 (my goal is 45, considering the word count average of my chapters--this should also give me room to add/take away as I'm actually writing) and it's already serving as a fantastic guide as I continue writing forward. It's nothing fancy, and half of the sentences are incomplete. It's just for me to know (remember) where I'm headed.

I plan to finish the outline but I'm at a bit of a crossroads and I haven't decided which route to go yet. Maybe I'll turn it into one of those books with alternate endings. "If you choose to wrestle the alligator, turn to page 57. If you turn and run, screaming like a child, turn to page 73."

And I think I'm closer to revealing my working title for this project with y'all. I might need another day or two to keep turning it over on my tongue, maybe write it down on my binder with little squiggles and hearts... but so far it's been met with very positive reactions from my critique gals, so it just might be a keeper. :)

Do you outline? What's your outlining process like? Is it a mess/rough guideline like mine, or a work of art in itself?

13 comments:

  1. I've recently gone the outlining route and I have to say it's the best plan in the world. I read See Jane Write and they taught me Character ARC's, plot, setting up the story. All the things I needed to keep track of.

    I still pants my way thruogh the story but outlining the main objectives keeps me on track. If I questions I can go back to remind myself the whole reason I wrote the book in the first place. Writers block is gone and I've written 50K of this novel thanks to outlining!

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  2. Good for you!

    I outline. Sort of. It's a mixture of outlining and writing a synopsis. I can call it a synopline. LOL
    Like I write the chapter number and then write a paragraph or two on what I think should happen there.

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  3. I outline about at midpoint or maybe after completing a third. I've tried to do a complete outline, but it changes so often that it's frustrating!!

    Good luck with yours.

    I've heard nothing but good stuff on scrivner.

    Also - love the new bloggy look :D

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  4. OMG I LOVE your new blog look! So, so, so jealous!

    And actually, I'm the total opposite. I used to be an outliner, but now I'm sort of a pantser. It's weird, but that's what's been working for me lately.

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  5. Isn't Scrivener the best! Ever! I'm so excited that you're outlining. I can't wait to read more of your "Top Secret Name" book! :)

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  6. Wrestle an alligator. Definitely. :) Your outline sounds like my outline--I doubt it makes sense to anybody but me, but it gives me a guidepost.

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  7. Outlining for me depends on the book. My first novel wasn't outlined. My second had a few descriptions of chapters, which I filled in later as I was revising. And my third book is completely outlined, but I change a lot of the way. I'm growing into an outliner, I think. Helps me remember all those awesome ideas too :)

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  8. Very cool! Can't wait to read more!

    BTW- LOVE your new signature! So cute!

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  9. I use the fifteen point beat sheet from Blake Snyder's Save the Cat so I know the main plot and emotional points I have to hit and then I have a scattering of settings and dialogue for scenes that come in between to bridge some of the unknown parts. I'm thinking of going more detailed next time around. Hopefully it won't suck the life out of the story since generally I like knowing where I'm headed.

    Dig the new blog look!
    - Sophia.

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  10. It seems that I am so scatterbrained that maybe I should be outlining.

    Also, I LOVE this new look. I am jealous.

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  11. I was a panster until I found the plot whisperer. She changed my writing life, I feel so much more in control of my story...well, as much as the characters will let me:)

    Lurve your new look by the way!

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  12. I see you're being a busy little bee :)

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  13. When I am going to get to read a sneak preview of your WIP?

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