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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Outline and Me

Well, I've done it; in writing my third novel I've found that (due to time-constraints imposed by my hourly job) I need to organize The Key of Living Fire in order to get it done and keep the plot-line amazing. So far the novel is around 53,000-words. I'm hoping for between 115 and 130k in the final manuscript.

The problem I ran into was the plot twists multiplied and I couldn't keep track of them all, or, rather, I was close to forgetting key elements as I wrote new material. The outline I'm forming is almost 2,000-words, which seems rather lengthy to me. The story is growing into something I will be proud of and I think the outlining is proving to be an indispensible tool.

Perhaps I'm turning into an Outliner? (-:


Chris said...

I've found outlining to be an indispensable tool. It doesn't clog my creativity, like some people say it does. Rather, it kick starts it.

Good luck with the word count!

Scott Appleton said...

I can see the creativity angle from both viewpoints.

On the one hand, writing from-the-hip offers fun, unexpected opportunities to send characters in new directions both geographically and in dialogue.

On the flip side of that coin, outlining offers a way of deepening the foreshadowing in epic stories. And mine has a lot of foreshadowing... so here it is helpful to outline. But the scenes still need to be written from the-hip.

Star-Dreamer said...

Well, there's nothing that says you can't write-from-the-hip and outline. I used to not believe in outlines at all, but then I tried one. They can be very helpful, but you don't have to follow them exactly. I have one story where the outline says my mc is an orphan but when I started writing that was just too cliche... something else turned up, and while my story still loosely follows my outline, it also has taken on a mind of its own. I love it when they do that! :)

Scott Appleton said...

Exactly! The evolution of the story as we write is one of the most important aspects. I am only following the outline loosely, though the main scenes will end up very close to their summarizations in the outline.

Miss Pickwickian said...

Enjoyed looking on around on your site.
I don't like outlining, but it always helps me keep things strait. Even for a short writing project (like a letter!). And I'm still able to stay flexible.

Andrew K. York said...

I use outlines to help me get everything in my story straight.

Just to let you know, has changed to


"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.