The Outline Monstrosity

I’ve done it.

I have decided to down-shift from my usual writing style and actually create an outline for my novel. An outline! It’s something I’ve not done before so I’m typing it out with both dread and excitement. (Though, to be fair, I’ve not written a novel before either so this whole thing is pretty new.)

I believe the hardest part I’ve encountered with writing an outline is just getting started on it. I stared at a blank page for a few days with only two words, “Novel Outline”, inking the white space. It was tough, daunting, scary even. But then I started typing ideas, filling out snippets of pin-point thoughts, fleshing out notes I’d previously written and – poof! – an outline. Not a complete one, of course, but at least a start of one. The document sits blazing like a firefly on my desktop.

Thus far I’ve gotten 18 chapters all lined up, discovered some new things about the character interactions, and even set up a plot-point!

It’s nice to have some rough idea as to where my novel is going, and, while it’s not everything, it’s a good feeling to have some semblance for my characters and events. I’m happy with it.

Warm regards,

Also – Postscript – I got a freelance article published in the local newspaper – the Chugiak-Eagle River Star A Passion for Dance. Check it out!


8 thoughts on “The Outline Monstrosity

    • Nope, I’ve never written an outline for any of my stories. That’s an interesting way of doing things, Blondie, randomly write different parts and then somehow mesh them together. It’s a great skill to have! As for me, I like writing in a linear fashion, sometimes I do pen certain sections ahead of time (or when the inspiration hits) but mostly I’d rather write the events as they unfold.

    • I’m with you. I write all the scenes that come into my mind as I go, and fill in the blanks. At some point I’m not writing at all, but my characters are just living out their lives and I’m trying to catch up with them.

      Outlines, however, have not been my skill.

      • Nice, eliserae! It’s great that your characters are living such vibrant lives, just be sure to write down all the important facts!

  1. Outlines, for me, consist of scribbled notes on crinkled pieces of paper that are shoved into random corners of my desk…

    Good for you though! Why not send a chapter out?

    • Haha, mine are normally like that as well. I’ve tried to consolidate the ones I’ve written down into one consistent outline but I’m pretty sure some are still hiding out.

      I’m working on fine-tuning chapter 11 right now and will hopefully send it out soon!

  2. Outlining is rough, especially if you’re a former “pantser”. (Man, I hate that term. It sounds like what you’d call someone who runs around pulling other people’s pants down. That’s cool, if that’s what you’re going for, but when describing a writer? It’s almost as bad as “plotter,” which sounds too much like plodder for my taste. But I digress.)

    My tactic is to start with all the scenes I KNOW will happen, and then fill in the gaps between. What has to happen in order for that scene I know about to happen? And what will happen as a result of that scene? It’s outlining for pantsers.

    • Thanks for the comment!

      I’d have to agree, “Pantser” is quite the odd duck when it comes to a description. a

      That’s a good way to plot out a story, having specific scenes in mind and then figuring out what will happen before/after them. That’s kind of how I did it before outlining, though usually the only scene I’d be truly sure about was the last one.

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