Struggles in outlining

Outlining my story was a great idea! I can’t believe just how much easier it is for me to write with this crisp new outline in front of me! Well, maybe not. Outlining hasn’t gone too well. So far all I have to show for my troubles are several aborted attempts. A pantser I remain, for now.

My problem is that I don’t know how to outline. I’m trying to put too much detail into the outline, but I don’t really know what’s going to happen, other than a vague idea of where I want my story to go, and a few key scenes I would like to include. To make a comparison to real life, it’s like knowing where I want to drive to, where I’m starting, but only knowing the general direction I’ll take. Lubbock, Texas to Boston, Massachusetts? I’ll just drive north and east and I’ll get there eventually.

Actually, that sounds like fun, and potentially the makings of another epic “Amy Adventure,” but that’s a story for another time.

I know the ending to the series, though I haven’t sat down and written it down. I know what the problem is going to be in the first book, but not how to resolve it. I vaguely want the second book to focus on Lily’s relationships with everyone around her, and her adversary’s attempt to subvert those ties in order to weaken her. I know Lily will make an unlikely alliance in the third book to defeat her adversary, though it comes with a cost.

Lily’s relationship with her dead mother will come more into focus as Lily learns more about her and the reason for her apparent neglect and unfortunate demise. My character will have to grow up and live up to a destiny that many before her refused to take.

What I hope will work out is the nature of Lily’s enemy. That has me worried because it’s either the best idea ever written, or the worst. It excites me and terrifies me as the same time. I need to finish it before I’ll know for sure.

Writing is a scary endeavor. I’ve gotten used to posting my thoughts on this blog, so now I’m working towards a grander goal. I’ve been hoping to cross this one last goal line, though I’ve been putting it off. I think I’m about ready to put myself out there to be scrutinized, to have my books out to be criticized as either good or bad. As much as I wanted it, I wasn’t strong enough emotionally for it. I am now, I think.

I’ll get back to creating a general outline for Lily, and hope that it is detailed enough for me to work with, but flexible enough for me to create an organic and fluid narrative. I’m still a long ways away from finishing Book One, but in all honesty, I’m closer to being done than I would like.


1 thought on “Struggles in outlining

  1. Yes, it’s been too long since our last “Amy Adventure”. I think that might have been Palo Duro Canyon?! So, when do you want me to pick you up for Boston? I think maybe it would help you get perspective for your story line. 🙂


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