I have no choice now. I have to give in to the inevitable. I should have seen this coming a long time ago, and maybe I did and I tried to delay it by walking away. Now I can see that I have to give in. I’m sorry, but this is the end of my way of life. I can barely stand the thought of it, and it’s breaking my heart to say it, but here goes nothing.
I think I may have to outline this story.
There it is. Mock me if you must, but my time as a pantser is all but over. No, don’t cry for me, at least not yet. All is not lost, but there are moments in life when one must confront one’s fears in order to mature and grow. This for me is one of those moments. It’s a little bittersweet.
I may be overreacting.
So here’s the deal. I’ve been working on this book that I call Lily, which is the name of my main character, imagine that. I want to write it as a series – probably a trilogy just so I can be like all the cool writers out there – so I’m having to do more planning than I’m used to. It’s not going all too well at the moment.
I can see some key scenes in my head, and I’m working on trying to weave them together into a cohesive narrative. I’ve written most of book one already, though there’s a lot I have to correct and clean up before I’m ready for anyone to take a look. For the rest, I have an ending in mind, key plot points I need to address, but when and how are the questions keeping me awake.
Maybe I’m not ready for this, but then if not now, when? I’ve talked this through with my confidant and I think this may work, at least if I frame it correctly, hence the need for an outline. I’ve never used one, but I think my story is becoming too complicated and convoluted to try to write this piecemeal, without a road map to guide me.
Since I’ve never done an outline, I have no idea how to do it. I guess I could do a little research into outlining, or maybe ask other writers how to create one, but I know I won’t. I’m writing my story, and I know what I need, so I guess any outline that I need to create must serve my needs and not try to live up to someone else’s definition of what an outline should be. Which now begs the question, why am I bringing this up?
But just for giggles, how many of you work from an outline? Anyone?
I like to say I have an outline in my head lol
I kind of work with a ‘loose’ outline. I get a timeline of events down, but then wind up doing the ‘pantser’ routine to link them all together. This can be tricky sometimes though. The ‘pantser’ method can be hit or miss and will have to be redone a few times, but usually it turns into a game-changer that speeds the process.
That said, I also have a tendency to move sections of the timeline to earlier or later parts of the story than what I originally intended. It’s a strange blend of outline and pantsing, which is why I call it the ‘loose timeline’. We all know characters may start going off in different directions than what we planned originally, many times to the benefit of the story. Other times, I’ll remove that off-track section and save it for another story.
In the end, it’s up to every writer to find what works for them. Let’s see how ‘outlining’ works for you. It might be just the thing you’ve been looking for.