Outline or no outline?

Here is the age old question, and you will seriously find strong opinions on both sides of this spectrum.

You have to outline or your book reads like you don’t. You go off on wild tangents. Or you have to let it free flow or it reads like an instruction manual. I think I’ve about read every article that lists pros and cons to both.

I’ve tried to be an outliner. Planning my story down, and I find shortly into it I give up. I’m finished with the book before I’ve even gotten started. My brain whirls, and I hate the whole process. I’ve thrown more books away by trying to plan them out, than I can imagine.

I also have friends that plan down to the tiniest details before they’re ready to go. Which works amazing for them. They are able to kick out books at their own rate once they know everything.

After all of this I’ve come to the conclusion like everything else that comes with following your creative flow this too is one of them. It’s no different than what time of day you’re the most creative, and can work. There are no set rules for any bit of it. There have been great successes and failures on both sides of the spectrum. I say lets all work the way we do, and what works for you might not work for your friends.

I’m not a horribly organized person, but I tend to jot down a overview plot line. That’s great enough for me. My friend details out every tiny bit until they are sure they know every nuance of their story, and that works great for them.

This all feeds back to the saying, ‘There are rules to writing, only nobody knows them’. Like all creative lifestyles it’s a matter of what works for you. Invent your own personal rules, and follow them, but don’t forget. Your rules work for you, not necessarily your friends. So in light of it all just remember everyone has opinions, and to quote my father, ‘Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, and some stink’.

Follow your own methods to writing that novel, and remember…..

L.O.L. (Live It, Own It, and Love it!)

Until next time.

Do this, not that. Write this, not that.

It has been a long time since I’ve been here on my blog. In actuality it has been a long time since I allowed myself to reconnect with my creative half period. I have allowed myself to sit idle far too long. Admittedly so, I’d packed up my writing things. I’d moved on from wanting to write.

Why? Simple. I spent so long getting caught up in how everyone else wrote. They’re more productive than I am so their methods must work better. I need to learn them, practice them. Oh, they have so many published books out what are their writing rules. I must fall those.

As you can imagine my head was left spinning, and I felt like a complete and utter failure in the highest regard. It took me a long time to come to grips with everything. Thing is, there is no right way nor wrong way to write a novel. There is only your way, and that way is the only way you need to focus on. If you spend far too much time getting bogged down in all these ‘rules’ of writing you’ll forget why you even started down the road to begin with.

When you first get that little glimpse of an idea, follow what you want with it. If you want to gather up tons of those little glimmers before you sit down to write, do so. If you want to sit down and write the glimmer, and see how deep the rabbit hole goes, do it. It doesn’t matter how you go about writing, but merely that you do so.

Chris Baty, founder of National Novel Writing Month said it best in one of his speeches to Google employees. He used one of Isaac Newton’s laws of motion. ‘Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest.’ This he applied to writers meaning, if you can harness the power of momentum with your writing you will be far more productive. Let’s face it, we all can find excuses and reasons to be at rest. It’s that momentum that will keep us moving forward.

I’ve spent so much time focusing on the what to do’s, and what not to do’s that I let myself remain at rest. I came up with thousands of excuses on why I can’t write, and I let all the rules, and methods alter my own process. None of them worked, and my own creative process died during it all.

Lesson learned: I wasn’t doing anything wrong in the beginning. Yeah, what I wrote wasn’t the gold I originally thought it was, but that it can all be fixed and improved upon. The more I write the better I will get at it, but bogging myself down in everyone else’s methods and rules made it so I didn’t write at all. You can’t improve upon a blank page. Again, Chris Baty said, ‘A rough draft can always improve with a revision, but a blank page will still remain blank with a revision.’ Okay, so that probably isn’t an exact quote, but close enough to get the point across.

Anything I write can be fixed during revisions, but I have to write it first. No more of everyone else’s rules and methods. I have to do things my way, and you should do things your way. We are all fighting the same battle of getting the story out, we just have different means of getting there.

L.O.L. (Live it, own it, love it) my friends.

The Plot Thickens

This helped me so much. I hope it helps all of you.

quotidiandose

Plot is a literary term defined as the events that make up a story, particularly as they relate to one another in a pattern, in a sequence, through cause and effect, how the reader views the story, or simply by coincidence.

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Some resources claim there are SEVEN basic plot structures with numerous variations on each of them.  There are only so many story arcs and all of our stories fit into a certain category.  You can still create something that is uniquely your own and original because the writer can tweak all of the elements in their world.  But the basic ideas lead us to the point  that there is nothing new under the sun.  These recognizable forms work and used over and over again.

1. Overcoming the Monster

The protagonist sets out to defeat an antagonistic force which threatens the protagonist and/or protagonist’s homeland. Many of the mythology stories are in…

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