It’s Not Exactly Writing…

2 thoughts on “It’s Not Exactly Writing…”

  1. All seems well in DarcKnyt land– I’m happy for you! I outlined my novel when I started, but now my characters are growing around it, like so many vines and creepers on the walls of a house. Sigh.

    For me, outlining is critical to the success of writing a novel. I don’t understand the “my characters aren’t cooperating” aspect I’ve heard from so many other writers (most of them). I’ve discovered great success keeping stories on track, eliminating plot holes, going to revisions instead of drafts, and many other benefits by outlining the story first. Character evolution shows up in revision for me, but maybe I’m weaker as an artist because my “characters” don’t “run away with the story”? Who knows? I’m just having a ball doing this.

    I hope you’re healing well from your injury, and I’m so glad to see you pop around again! Have a GREAT day and good luck with your novel!

  2. What I hear you saying is: As with most projects, the biggest challenge is in the planning. Once you have a good plan, most of the hard work is done!

    I think that’s a good summation. The misery of NOT planning is far, far worse to me than taking the time to hammer this stuff out ahead of time. And following the outline doesn’t have to be a rigid, disciplinary march from one end to the other, which I think is why most “pantsers” think outlining will “kill” their creativity. If they’d only learn! It would LIBERATE their creative powers! Maybe I should post on that someday.

    I remember doing that kind of outlining for my university essays, but I never tried it on fiction. I guess it’s probably easier with the software available now. I used to write all my points out on pink index cards and arrange them on my bedroom floor until I had the right sequence. It worked pretty well, but the cat always looked at me funny, like – what is that silly human up to now?

    The index-cards-on-the-floor method is still, and will likely always be, one of the most effective ways to arrange the thoughts of a written work. In fact, the best writing software I’ve ever used, Scrivener, uses a corkboard with index cards to simulate just that method. I’ve been reading another craft book and found the author recommends writing the sequence of events on one side of the card, and on the other writing the summary of the three or four events which comprise the sequence. Arrange them on the floor, just as you did in college. And when the sequences are all in the correct order, then — and ONLY then — do you put fingers to keyboard to write. It’s brilliant and effective. 🙂

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