23 January, 2015

Planning A Novel is Too Much Like Work

Scrivner Cork Board

Last night I found an article about outlining via Writers Write titled Five Really Good Reasons To Outline Your Novel - before you write a word .

When it comes to actual work and the lack of enjoyment it entails, I tend to shy away from things that appear to be -- and usually end up being -- far more complex than they need to be.

The Scriver image above is a case in point.

An outline effort prior to writing a story means a quick jot-down of everything currently roaming around inside my head so that I don't forget what might be key later on.

When I was young enough not to care, I taped magazine pics of pretty people and things to my bedroom wall.

Today, there is Pinterest  ;-) 

This year, I'd like to try something new, and here are the five reasons why . . .
  • There is very little chance (for) writer's block.
The culprit appears to be plot and not knowing what it is or where to go with it. Like me, right now, trying to decide how to end this ch.3 issue so that it makes sense and is engaging for the reader.
  • You reduce the number of rewrites and edits.
Wouldn't this be grand!

Instead of writing until you type THE END, make an outline plan instead. With a majority of the work done right at the start, the need for two year's worth of edit/rewrite is resolved.
  • You spot problem areas before you begin.
There's nothing more sad than having just spent lots of time on a WIP only to have it die half-way through because you realize it just isn't going anywhere.

Do you delete or throw them away? Not me. I have a folder for them, and more than a dozen lined notepads filled with ink that contain half-written stories.

Maybe some day . . . 
  • It improves creativity.
At least with a thorough and well-planned outline, we know what comes next even if it doesn't exactly fit into our story anymore.
  • You can develop compelling characters with clear story goals.
I never do this. 

I know what they look like, their initial conflict, and as I'm writing, I wonder about ways for them to either fall deeper into trouble or slowly make their way out of a potentially hazardous situation.

The things I struggle with tend to be the ones I pay the least amount of attention to until zero-hour arrives, and then I cry.

The idea of using a cork board intrigues me, just not one so tiny as Scrivners. And, having to open more than one tab is cause for stress, too. 

Having a large board filled with lots of sticky notes and 3 X 5 index cards right in front of me is the way to go, so it's off to the stationary store now to get this new attempt underway.

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