Many have asked if I outline before I write. The answer is no. I mean, I have an idea of the story I want to write and I think about different scenes, characters, situations, etc. and I start to write blurbs and notes on all of it. In addition, I always figure out something I want to happen in the story.
For example, I may want a silly chase scene in a park. I will write a blurb about how I may want the scene or action to unfold, and keep that as a guide to where I want my characters to go at some point in the story.
I suppose you can say, my notes are my outline, but they are not in any order necessarily. They are just vignettes of scenes I write ad hoc and later stitch together for flow. Taking breaks in between to let the ideas marinate.
However, I found myself taking a much longer break than I wanted from writing. And so I decided this time around I needed a more concrete guide. So, I sat down with all my notes and writing and started to put them in order I may want them to go – switching things around here and there. Eventually, I came up with some sort of timeline, so I sat at the computer and typed out a bullet point outline.
By doing this, I found myself on an actual path. I could see the story more clear and feel I can put together a writing schedule with purpose. Meaning, I could say to myself: Today, I will work on this particular scene, or elaborate on that particular situation. Now, of course, there will be times when a fresh idea pops up, and you have to put everything aside to play with that. But that’s something you cannot schedule, so you just have to allow yourself to let it happen when it does.
I’ve printed out what I’ve written so far. About 27,000 words. I’ve got a way to go but this with the outline I have, I’m in a very good space and can carry on more smoothly from here. Still a lot of work, but feels good to see the progress.
I shared with my sisters two separate pages from this new story. One page, was from the opening chapter. The other was somewhere towards the middle. They were impressed & intrigued. NOTE: This is the first time anyone read from this new story.