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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Should I Do An Outline?

So, I was thinking about the outline to my book. When the idea first came to me, I dove in head first. I was so excited and eager to get started. So I made up the character bios and started figuring out who would do what. I created this insanely elaborate outline. I made each chapter with bullet points. I had the big events. I even high lighted important parts.

Then, I sit down to start writing. Day one I probably wrote five chapters. Which, is a lot. Usually I write about two chapters a day, on average. So I continue to write, day after day. I have the outline next to me making sure I have it going according to plan. I get about half way through the book and go crazy. I had this long weekend from school, might have been Thanksgiving weekend. I sat and wrote and wrote and wrote. I banged out the entire book in a matter of three days. I looked up from my desk and was like, what the hell just happened? It was almost like an out of body experience.

Anyway, I took two days off to just relax and distance myself. I started from chapter one, page one and read through the book like I was the reader. As I went through the chapters I was noticing that this wasn't even close to my outline. I believe my outline started as having twenty one chapters. By the end, I have thirty. I also added in some random scenes and characters.

Main point, I don't do long outlines anymore. I found that I didn't even use it. My book turned out completely different that what I first had in mind. As the book progressed, I ended up liking characters I didn't plan on and creating situations differently. It's not a bad thing but it just happened. I'm not saying outlines are bad! In fact, for book two I have a GENERAL outline. It is nothing like the first book but useful. I didn't do a chapter by chapter outline. I simply wrote out what the important situations were and the order they had to go in.

Not sure if this is a normal writing technique?

I just find that when I get in the zone and am writing, I should leave it to my imagination. I should just write it as I think it. I find that those situations are more realistic than something I wrote down before the book even started. Something to think about.

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