Also check out my Twitter and Facebook pages!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Outlining My Way Through, Introduction

Picture Credit: http://www.tinamoss.com/2013/01/
I have enough to say about outlining that I'm not going to try doing this one in a single posting. I never considered outlining to be for me and I went through draft after draft of my book without anything more than an basic plan for the overall plot in my head. For the most part, anything that happened was as much a surprise for me as for my characters. I enjoyed the idea of discovering the story with them and through them.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment