Day 132 – Outline or Just Write? Why Co-Dependency is Working For Me

Decided today to throw in the towel with the whole outlining thing. I’m getting nowhere but hemmed in. It’s just not working for me. At least, not in its current form. (Maybe I’m a feckless fool after all…!)

Okay, I’m not giving up on the whole outlining thing I guess. Thing is, I need an outline. I just can’t seem to write one. So I made a compromise with myself. I’m going to outline as I go along.

Sound counter-productive? It just might be. But as far as I can tell, an outline is necessary for two main reasons:

  1. To know where you’re going and how you’ll get there
  2. To develop and unfold the story in an acceptable, storytelling fashion

I already know basically where I’m going, thanks to the work I’ve put into the first draft. And I know (roughly) how to present the story. But when I try to put it down in outline fashion, the whole thing just seems contrived to me. And annoying. (Especially this last one.)

So I made a compromise with myself. I’ll develop an outline as I write the second draft. This way, I’ll still be able to track how things like plot and theme and characters are developing, but not have to rope myself into some strange exercise that my writer’s mind just can’t seem to fathom.

Will it work? I’m not sure. But this is, after all, a creative and exploratory process, so I’m going to give it a try.

It’s paid dividends already. I’ve officially started the second draft today! So that’s something. And you know what? I feel good and loose and free again. I started with the new fake Foreword I developed and then built on my latest “new beginning” and I’m liking what I’m reading so far.

Speaking of which, I started reading a bit of the first draft, and I’m liking that too. A little rough perhaps — that’s what rough drafts are for though — but I like the language. I’ll have to work it into the new style I’ve developed, but for the most part, the basics are there.

This whole approach though might bite me in the ass later. I’m not recommending outlining on the fly to anyone. But I’m desperate. I need to do something to get things going again. So far, this feels right.

I’ll direct your attention to the “Novel-o-meter” at the right there. Finally got some red going!

More to come tomorrow.

~Graham

Novel Writing Totals – Second Draft

Hours Today: 2
Words Today: 1,386
Hours Total: 2
Words Total: 1,386

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