|Picture Credit: http://www.tinamoss.com/2013/01/|
Unfortunately, draft after draft had HUGE holes that I didn't see until after I finished because I was too close to the story to look at it objectively. I will never say that everyone must do an outline before they write. Each writer must decide what does and doesn't work for him or her. But I can say without a doubt that I have been converted to being an outliner.
During a writers' conference, I attended a class taught by Dan Wells about Story Structure and Outlining. I have to admit that when I showed up I didn't think there would be much I could get out of it. What was I to learn from a horror writer who lived by outlines when I wrote fantasy and wanted nothing to do with outlines?
During his class, Dan Wells opened my eyes to a system of outlining that I had never considered. I was amazed at how applicable it was. He pointed out that it could be used in the initial planning stage of a book or as a way to evaluate the plot after it was written. At the time, I was certain I would continue writing as I always had and use his outlining tool as a way to evaluate my plot during the editing.
When I evaluated the plot of my book (which I thought at the time was almost ready for a publisher) using his outlining structure, I found to my astonishment that it did not have a point! Not only did it have major holes, but I could not specify what the plot was.
Since then I have re-written my book after having outlined a planed story structure. I can't sing Dan Wells' praises enough. In the next few postings I will go through his outlining method and how it helped me. But he has posted it on You-Tube. It's a five-part video and I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn to write.
Visit the first 4 steps here.